First of two parts
Home values have been a top concern in recent years, but how often do we pause and think about the value of the possessions inside our homes? If you’re a renter, homeowner or condo owner, when was the last time you took an inventory of the contents of your home?
A home inventory is a listing of the contents of your home and the cost to replace them if lost or damaged. Despite the numerous benefits in detailing an inventory of our homes, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners indicates that nearly 60 percent of Americans do not have a list of their homes’ contents.
Of those who do have an inventory:
- 48 percent do not have receipts for their items
- 28 percent don’t keep a duplicate copy of the list outside their home
- 59 percent haven’t updated their lists in more than a year
Having a documented inventory of your home can allow you to evaluate the coverage you have on your home, condo or rental insurance policy to ensure you are adequately covered for your possessions. Many policies contain sublimits for certain classes of personal property such as art and collectibles. If your inventory shows values above those limits, you may want to speak to your agent about scheduling special coverage.
Additionally, knowing your home’s contents can save you hours documenting damaged or lost items in the stressful days following a covered loss. For example:
Knowing the make and model of your flat panel TV will save you time having to research TV models and values after struck covered loss caused by water damage to your basement’s family room.
Having a photo of your grandmother’s antique desk will allow you and your insurer to more easily calculate its value after a devastating fire in your home.
Having photos of the artwork hanging in your living room will allow your insurer to pay your claim more quickly after a theft from your home.
You took great care to choose the right insurance coverage to protect your belongings. By taking the same care to inventory your home, you can give yourself peace of mind that you have sufficient insurance to protect your belongings in the event of a loss.
Part two: How to get started (Thursday)
Submitted by Anne Balfour