5 Benefits of Creating a Household Inventory for Insurance Purposes

Although some home insurance policies come with coverage for the goods inside your home, it’s really up to you to catalog your stuff so that you can get the value out of your insurance provider in the event of loss or damage. There are many ways to go about completing this laborious task, but perhaps the best option is to take photographs (including serial numbers), update them annually, and keep a record of receipts for big-ticket items like electronics and furniture. Of course, storing this information in your home might not be the best idea, so you should think about forwarding it on to your insurance agent for safekeeping, or stashing it in a safe deposit box at the bank. And if you just haven’t gotten around to creating a home inventory yet, perhaps you don’t entirely understand the benefits to be gained from cataloging the many valuable items in your home. Here are a few reasons you should definitely create an inventory for insurance purposes.

  1. Burglary. One of the best reasons to know what’s in your home is in case you are the victim of a home invasion robbery. Even the best alarm systems can be nullified and locks can be defeated, allowing would-be robbers to enter you home and ransack it. Hopefully you and your family are away when such an event occurs, but the truth is that if you’re not there, the chances that the burglars will get away clean with your stuff is a lot higher. Of course, an inventory can help you on a couple of fronts on such occasions. For one thing, photos can clue you in to exactly what is missing. But if you’ve bothered to document serial numbers, it can also help the police to find and recover fenced goods, potentially leading them to the burglars.
  2. Fire. When a fire hits your home, nothing may remain of the goods that were within. And while you can, and should, install a fire safe to house important documents, heirloom jewelry, and the like (or stick them in a safe deposit box at the bank), no safe can protect all of the goods in your home from the ravages of a house fire. However, when you have an inventory of every item in your home you can more easily begin the process of payout from your insurance provider, as well as rebuild your life and replace the things that were lost.
  3. Natural disasters. Every region contends with some form of natural disaster, be it earthquakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, or even multiple weather-related threats. And while you probably have special insurance to cover natural disasters common to your area, you still need to inventory household items if you want to ensure you get the value back from your insurance when your furniture is waterlogged in a flood or spread across the city during a tornado.
  4. Understand value. When you inventory your household goods you have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of what their value is. You may want to speak with your insurance agent on the subject as this professional should be able to tell you how value decreases over time, so that you know what your items are worth and you won’t be surprised by the depreciated value later on.
  5. Recovery. The number one reason to hold home insurance in Atlanta GA, Houston TX, or Los Angeles CA is to receive compensation in the event that your home and property is damaged or lost due to theft or natural disasters. And the number one reason to complete a home inventory is to guarantee that your insurance will pay out on the contents of your home is these situations. Without an inventory, you’re very unlikely to get anywhere near the value of your property when disaster strikes.

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