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R&R Insurance Blog

Creating a Home Inventory | Tips & Tricks

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Home-Inventory.pngIf someone asked you to create a list of every possession in your home today, how many items do you think you’d remember? Think about just one room. Can you envision what’s in every drawer, hanging on each wall, or sitting on the shelves?

Under the unfortunate circumstance your home is destroyed, your insurance company will ask for a complete home inventory.  Your current insurance contract most likely reads something along the lines of: “Prepare an inventory of damaged personal property showing the quantity, description, actual cash value and amount of loss. Attach all bills, receipts and related documents that justify the figures in the inventory.” In order for you to receive payment to buy new items, you will be required to complete a home inventory.

Home inventories can be completed in the form of a printed list, through photos and video, or even digitally via apps. West Bend Mutual provides the following checklist to help you through the process:

  • The more detailed your inventory, the better. That being said, don’t make it too complicated. An easy way to do a home inventory is go from room to room, photographing or videotaping the contents of each room, then jotting down descriptions and details. Don’t forget your closets, cupboards, and drawers. And be sure to include the basement and garage.
  • Your inventory should have:
    • Brand names and serial numbers of products;
    • Digital photographs, preferably stored on a disc or flash drive; and
    • Receipts. If you don't save receipts, it’s a good time to start.
  • More expensive items like jewelry, collections, furs, and other valuables are limited in the amount covered. If the value of these kinds of items exceeds the limits, be sure to insure them separately. You may need appraisals to do this.  Once you have an inventory and appraisals, store them in a safe deposit box away from home.
  • Keep your inventory current. Update it every year, especially if you buy, sell, or give away items. Failing to keep your inventory updated could result in not enough (or too much) insurance coverage.
  • Once you’ve got your inventory (whatever form it takes), make sure to protect it. Store it in a safety deposit box, in a strong safe or lockbox, on a cloud storage service, at work, or with a friend. Just make sure it’ll survive if there’s ever major damage to your home. Remember that’s what it’s there for!

Having your home inventory complete prior to a loss is highly recommended. The devastation of losing your home and possessions is unthinkable and can cause an incredible amount of stress in itself. Ideally you’ll never need to file a homeowner's insurance claim. However, an updated inventory can make the process faster and easier, and help you get the most from your insurance. It also provides you with peace of mind, knowing all of your possessions will be accounted for.

Contact a KnowledgeBroker for more information.

Topics: complete a home inventory, home inventory, homeowners insurance, homeowner's insruance

9 Steps to Complete a Home Inventory

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

home inventory_video skinWe talked about a great article we came across by Jim Guidry of the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance that talked about a way to protect your personal property by using your iPhone® or iPad®, he also gave some pointers on how to complete a home inventory.

(Hint) A suggestion from our staff is to hire your teenager to do this for you.

Take these 9 easy steps to complete a home inventory:

  1. Make a list of possessions, including "celebration" purchases, such as jewelry and fine art.
  2. Think about family heirlooms, collections and furniture. Also, consider items related to everyday leisure time, from flat-screen televisions to custom guitars.
  3. Take note of commonplace items such as toys, CDs and clothing. Do not forget items you may only use occasionally such as holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, and high-ticket items kept outside your home such as landscape and swing sets.
  4. Attach copies of original sales receipts and/or appraisal documents to your inventory. Be sure to note model and serial numbers.
  5. Group your possessions into logical categories. (i.e., by hobby, by room in your home)
  6. Carefully photograph or videotape each item and document a brief description, including age, purchase price and estimated current value.
  7. Remember to open drawers and closets to document what is inside.
  8. Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily accessible place, such as a secured site/file online, a fire-proof box or in a safe deposit box. You may want to share a copy with your insurance provider to make necessary updates to your coverage.
  9. Review and update your inventory annually and anytime you make a significant purchase.

More information on home inventories can be found on our website. Wisconsin residents who have more questions on home inventory or homeowners insurance, please contact KnowledgeBroker, Dan Wolfgram.

Topics: Insurance, Personal Insurance, inventory, possessions, home inventory, protect your personal property, complete a home inventory, home purchases

Use Your iPhone or iPad to Protect Your Personal Property

Posted by the knowledge brokers

iPadWe saw a great article by Jim Guidry of the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance which had a great suggestion on another way to protect your property using your iPhone® or iPad®.

With 2011 being a "bad claims" year, what better way to prepare and protect yourself this year than using your iPhone or iPad?

Use Your iPhone To Help Protect Your Personal Property

Wisconsin's severe storms can potentially cause significant damage to your home and its contents. The average claim payment for damage to or loss of home contents in Wisconsin was $5,961 in 2010.

One great free home inventory app to help with your home inventory process: myHOME Scr.APP.book (from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)).

More information on how to do your own home inventory.

Wisconsin residents, contact KnowledgeBroker, Kori Cumley for more ways to protect your personal property.

Topics: Personal Insurance, basement floods, iPhone, home inventory, severe storms, iPad, home damage, protect your personal property, commissioner of insurance, home loss