Fire, storms, earthquakes and, of course, burglaries, can pose a serious threat to interior furnishings and precious belongings. So it helps to have a detailed inventory of your home’s valuables and contents, which insurance companies may require you submit along with any Home & Contents Insurance claims.
Creating a home inventory for Insurance claims
by: Veda Dante
Here are some tips to help you keep thorough records, either written or photographed, and make claim time quicker and easier.
Meticulously go from room to room, noting everything big and small. Start with photos of the outside of your home, recording all angles and everything around it, including your garage, tools shed, bikes and kids swings.
Once inside, take photos or even video in every room, opening all drawers and cupboards to reveal their contents. After recording all of your belongings, you can then go through the process of providing details about what they’re worth.
To make it even easier when it comes to making an insurance claim, arrange your belongings in categories – clothes, linen, furniture – and recording the serial numbers on the back or bottom of appliances and electrical equipment.
A computer spreadsheet program, like Microsoft Excel or Google Docs Spreadsheet, makes it easy to organise your home inventory. Yes, it might seem painstaking going through everything, but once you have collated all of this data, it is pretty easy to manage.
For expensive items like jewellery, artwork, camera gear and technology, scan or photograph receipts or other forms of proof of value. As a general rule, the more you paid for something, the more documentation required by your insurance company to reimburse you for it.
If you have a smartphone or tablet, apps like Encircle (download on Google Play or iTunes) and Sortly (download on Google Play or iTunes) are picture-driven asset managers that enable you to upload photos of your home, providing visual proof for insurance purposes. There are quite a few available so have a good look to see what works for you.
Now you need to store this information in a safe place where you can quickly access it when you need to file an insurance claim. Just storing it on your computer’s hard drive, or a hard copy in your filing cabinet, could prove costly if fire or flood destroys your only copy.
A few good places to back up your home’s inventory include:
- A cloud storage account
- A fireproof safe or bank safe deposit box
- With a trusted friend or relative who doesn’t live with you
- On your email server, which you do my emailing yourself
Before you get started with your home’s inventory, it’s a good idea to speak with your Insurance provider or adviser to find out if they have any specific claims or reimbursement requirements.
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