Have you lived in your house/condo/apartment for a long time? Have you recently had a change in your household? Have you added some new items (flat screen TV? artwork?) When was the last time you actually looked around your space and thought about what it would cost to replace your possessions? Sure, you have insurance…but is it enough?
While it's important to protect the contents of your home -- through alarm systems and adequate insurance -- it's also vital to know exactly what you are protecting. No home protection system is complete without a thorough inventory. Imagine, for a moment, that one day soon you come home to find your residence engulfed in flames. You have insurance for the home and its contents, but . . . what would you do if you had to produce an accurate inventory for insurance purposes?
The best answer is that you already have one, which is in a safety deposit box or at your work or with a relative. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to produce an inventory:
- Start with one room. Don’t overwhelm yourself. If you have family members, get them involved.
- Sit down and make a list. Then go back and include serial numbers, model numbers, estimated value, estimated replacement cost (if need be, go window shop - at the mall or on the internet - and see what that cost would be)
- Make notes about items. Family heirlooms? A special gift that can’t be replaced? Has it been appraised? List that information. Especially for jewelry, furs, unusual items. Where did you get it?
- Take pictures or videos. If you don’t have a digital camera, borrow one from someone who does. Consider video taping each room. You might even consider filming a family member talking about unique items. If you have hard copy photos, scan them and burn onto a disc.
- Make several copies of your inventory. The website referenced at the end of the article actually has disc storage available. Or give the person who has a copy of your will a copy of your inventory. Trade copies with a trusted friend or relative. And, of course, put a copy in your bank box.
- Update as needed.
Or, you can visit www.knowyourstuff.org to download a software program that helps you to take inventory and store your data.
Be sure to call our offices with any questions.
Mission Viejo: (949)582-5220