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Most insurance companies advise keeping a home inventory. Unfortunately, with the busy lives of most home owners this is often neglected. However, when it comes time to move home, creating a home inventory has a number of benefits.
Making a home inventory:
A basic home inventory can be produced with only a pen and paper. However, if you have a digital or video camera, you can create a more comprehensive inventory. All you need to do is to create a list of furniture, appliances, rugs, electrical items and any collectables. This list can be kept with photographs and any receipts and documentation.
Although making a home inventory may seem like a large task, it can be simply done, by working your way through your home room by room, listing the contents of each room separately. Remember to note items such as televisions, computers and audio equipment in addition to any collectables or antiques. Consider the items that would need to be replaced in the event of a fire or theft.
Your list should include the manufacturer and brand of each item along with any model numbers and an estimated value. Smaller items such as jewelry should be listed with a description such as gold, silver or platinum along with listing any precious stones. You should allocate a number to each item, which can be paired with a numbered digital photograph.
The benefits of a home inventory when moving house:
Although a home inventory is a great resource for home insurance claims, it is invaluable when you are moving home. There are a number of benefits to keeping this documentation including:
Protection for damage claims during moving:
Most moving companies have a specific limit to their insurance liability for your belongings. You can use your inventory to assess whether this amount is sufficient to cover all of your precious belongings. Should unforeseen circumstances occur, you will also have documented proof which will substantiate any claim. Any damage which occurs to specific items can also be proven when compared to the date stamped photographs of your inventory.
Assessment of your new insurance coverage:
When moving to a new home, you will obviously need to change your details on your homeowner insurance policies. This is a great time to double check your coverage and ensure that all of your belongings are protected. Most insurance policies will have a claim limitation for total loss of your belongings. You will need to ensure that this is sufficient for your needs. However, many policies have restrictions on the coverage of high value items. You can use your inventory list to double check that you have sufficient coverage. If you find that your coverage is too low or even too high, you should speak to your broker to amend your policy accordingly.
Keeping your inventory safe:
Once you have completed your inventory it is important to ensure that it is kept safe and up to date. You should store the list and any photographs in a secure and safe location. Your inventory is completely useless if it is stored on the hard drive located in your stolen computer or should it be damaged in a fire. Online or cloud services could present a good off site storage solution, or you could store the data on a USB drive in a safety deposit box or in an emergency box or bag. Be sure to keep appraisals and receipts for the items with the inventory for complete documentation.
Moving home can be particularly stressful but it can be unbelievably inconvenient should your possessions be damaged or lost when you lack documentary evidence of the items. Although it may take a little time to compile a home inventory, it can provide a great deal of reassurance for your house move and allow you to relax in your new home.