You probably keep all of your important documents—your birth certificate, social security card, diploma and transcripts—in a safe place, but have you documented your possessions so that they can be replaced if their lost due to a fire, flood, theft or other incident? For many people, the answer is "no." If you're in this group, don't feel bad about it. But do resolve to take action by following this advice.
Creating a home inventory not only helps you determine how much renters insurance you should have, but can help speed up the claims process if an unfortunate event occurs. Such records can also help verify losses when you file your income taxes after the event.
Taking it one room at a time, create a list of everything you own. For each item, you should note:
- A description of the item
- The serial number
- Date of purchase (consider keeping the receipt in the future for high-ticket items)
- Current estimated value
Remember, you need to include everything that you own, which might not be a whole lot if you're just out on your own for the first time; or could be a considerable amount if you've been living in a rental house and have even outfitted it with extras to make it feel more homey.
This might seem like an overwhelming task, but if you devote just half a day on the weekend, it shouldn't take more than a few weeks to have this done. Better yet, clear your calendar, brush off your favorite delivery menus and become a hermit for the weekend and do your apartment inventory in one fell swoop.
As you create your home inventory, it's probably easier to use good old paper and pen to make the notes quickly as you move throughout the house. Later you can transfer the data to a spreadsheet or an app. You could even create a video with your phone. Be sure to have a backup of whichever method you use, keeping the file in a safety deposit box at the bank, a heavy fireproof safe or with a trusted family member.
It's true that you may never need this information, but wouldn't it be better to have the peace of mind that comes from having it all prepared just in case?
Are you prepared for the unforeseen? Call Heritage Insurance at 800-850-2263 for more information on renters insurance.