Making a Home Inventory

Charles Goodman Group: Friendly Chappaqua Insurance Broker

It’s heart-stopping to walk into your home and find that it has been stripped clean of its valuables or damaged by some unexpected event. While family photos, decades-old home movies, heirlooms and other treasured items with sentimental value can’t ever be fully replaced, many valuables can be recovered with proper documentation. Your professional and experienced Chappaqua insurance agent can give you pointers on how best to take an inventory of your home’s possessions, but here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to get started.

First, decide what medium you would like to use in detailing your home’s contents. With a mobile device at your fingertips, making a thorough inventory is quick and easy. Options include videotaping a self-narrated tour of your home, photographing each important item in your home or making a written inventory. A hybrid of all three is probably the most comprehensive method, videotaping the home’s contents and then adding photos and receipts to written documentation as you acquire valuables.

To videotape your home’s interior using a cellphone or video recorder, pan the video camera slowly around each room, resting the camera view on each item and verbally identifying it. It may be helpful to have a rough draft of a written inventory on hand so you don’t forget anything. Remember to include your storage sheds, garages, guesthouses and everything else on your property that is covered by your homeowners insurance.

Once your video is completed, take still photos of jewelry, heirlooms or specialized electronics that may need more detail shown. Take photos of new items you acquire, keep a physical or digital copy of the purchase receipts, and list where you keep the items in your home.

The insurance agent experts at the Charles Goodman Group of Chappaqua can assist you with any questions regarding health insurance or automobile insurance.

Next, as you list all of your possessions down on an inventory sheet, be sure to copy down serial numbers, model numbers and any other pertinent tracking or identifying information. If you have an appraisal or valuation document for any special items, include a copy with your written inventory. Having those numbers and appraisals readily accessible will help tremendously if you ever have to file a claim.

Finally, think about where and how you are going to store the video, photos and inventory list. Home fireproof safes are convenient, but they aren’t completely invulnerable to damage or theft. You can also store the inventories in a safety deposit box or keep them at a friend’s house. Just remember that you want your inventories to be safe through damaging weather events, so choose a friend or family member who does not live in the same geographic area. The most convenient storage option is to upload your video, photos and written inventory to the cloud, copy it to a thumbnail drive or send yourself an email with the inventory documentation as attachments. But since access to power and electronic devices may be spotty after a natural disaster, it’s probably best to keep both a physical copy and a digital copy.

While only 48 percent of homeowners document their homes’ contents, an inventory is an important step to supporting homeowners insurance. In the end, such inventories not only provide peace of mind, they can save you precious time and energy if damage ever occurs.