- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Update Your Home Inventory

If you watched any television during the holidays, chances are you saw (and fast forwarded through) a lot of jewelry commercials. I learned what ever kiss begins with, where “he” went to, and how long a diamond is “for.” If you bought anything sparkly this winter, chances are you’ll want to make sure it’s protected in the event it’s lost or stolen. That goes for any new golf clubs, televisions, or other big ticket items you may have purchase (if you had a December to Remember… well that’s covered by auto insurance).

While jewelry is typically insured by a jewelry rider, almost everything else is covered by your base insurance and you’ll want to update your home inventory to make sure you remember you owned it. While insurance will cover it if you can prove you own it, the home inventory simply makes it easier for you to remember and document if you need to.

This post is part of the 2011 Spring Cleaning Week [3]!

Home Inventory

A home inventory is simply a list of all the “valuable” items in your home. It’s really up to you how you decide what is “valuable” and what isn’t, but ultimately you want to cover everything you consider valuable. It’s really a matter of documentation, do you want to spend the time to document your ownership of a $10 item? If so, that’s valuable to you.

A home inventory can be very simple to very complex. On the very simple side, simply get a list of all the valuables in your home, take a photo as a kind of “proof of ownership” and condition of each, and any purchasing information you have (receipts, invoices). Some people like to take a photo of each room and then closer photographs of high dollar items like televisions. Digital photos are basically free and you can keep them on your computer, so the more the merrier.

A photo of the room is helpful because it can help you remember what was in a room. If your home is robbed, you’ll probably remember that you had a television on the wall but you may not remember that $200 universal remote until much later. A photo can be helpful.

Updating Home Inventory

Updating the inventory is a cinch, the key is simply remembering to do it after big gift giving events like birthdays and the holidays. When updating the inventory, the same rules apply – photograph and document anything new you’ve acquired since the last time you did a home inventory.

In the event you received a gift and don’t know how much it cost, you can always get a copy of the current price of the item at a retail shop. Insurance companies usually pay replacement cost of its current market value, so the original price won’t matter, but it’s good to know, for yourself, how much it currently costs.

Remember, the key to a home inventory is keeping it up to date. The last thing you want to do is to try to remember what was in a room after a fire or burglary.

(Photo: pascalsijen [4])