Setting aside a few minutes to create (or update) an inventory of your personal possessions will pay off if you ever have to file a homeowners insurance claim.
Get the job done quickly with the Know Your Stuff® app for iPhone and androids from the Insurance Information Institute (III).
No matter how you choose to do it, the important thing is to create a home inventory and update it when you make major purchases. An up-to-date home inventory will:
- Help you purchase the right amount and type of insurance.
- Make filing a claim as simple as possible.
- Substantiate your financial losses for tax purposes or when applying for financial assistance.
You can use the Know Your Stuff® – Home Inventory website to set up an online account and store information about your insurance policies.
The software guides you through the process of creating and updating your home inventory, allowing you to set up rooms and list items within those rooms. You can also upload photographs and scanned receipts or appraisal forms, and generate several types of reports once your inventory is complete, or if you need to file a claim.
The software includes free, secure online storage at Amazon, so you can access your inventory anywhere, anytime—which can be important should you need to evacuate your home in a sudden emergency.
Not An App User?
If you’re not into phone apps, creating a photo inventory is a great way to document your possessions if you ever have to file an insurance claim.
Start by creating a few photos of each room or area. Stand in different regions of the room and take several broad photos. Once done, tackle individual items. Take multiple photos of objects to capture the backside, inside, details, brand or model name, serial numbers, etc.
Create A File Naming System
To make it easier to find things in your inventory, create a photo file-naming system when you move the pictures from your camera to your computer.
For example, you can name each picture based on the room, item, age and cost. So if you have a drill in the garage that you bought in 2014 for $125, the file name would be: Garage_drill_2014_$125.
Add the photo file names when you transfer your pictures to your computer. As you build your catalog and photograph the items, periodically print out the list for safekeeping and check for accuracy.
Save A Backup
As you work, print out a running copy of your inventory list and store it in a safe place. If you like, add a thumbnail view photo beside each item name.
Check your photo software to see if it offers a gallery or catalog lay out. That’s a good option for organizing your photos.
Once your inventory-taking project is complete, save a master copy of your written list on a flash drive, print out your photos or organize them in a photo book. Store the book or photos in a location other than your home. A bank safe deposit box or a relative’s home that’s not nearby are good options.
You can also take advantage of free, unlimited storage for life of all your photos at MailPix