Did you know that according to the FBI, more than 2 million home burglaries are reported every year? It’s not something we like to think about, but with statistics like that, you can’t ignore the possibility that it could one day happen in your neighborhood.
The first thing we recommend to policyholders is to invest in a home security system and develop a protocol of locking windows and doors, trimming bushes or other obstructions from window areas, and taking precautions when out of town. But we also recommend some measures to help “after the fact,” should a burglary occur.
One of those precautions is a home inventory. A home inventory itemizes all your belongings – from the high-ticket items like TVs and electronics to the more mundane, like bedding and knickknacks. A home inventory provides detail that makes the claims process simpler and more efficient and gives you peace of mind that any items that need repair or replacement per your coverage and limits will be executed fairly.
To do your own home inventory, first take photos or a video of every room in your house, opening drawers and closets and storage pieces to show contents. Make sure to capture manufacturers’ logos where you can, as well as the all-important serial numbers or style numbers.
The next step is to itemize these all in writing. List each item, its manufacturer, serial/style number, where you purchased it and when.
Now, take the photos or video and your list and keep copies in a fireproof safe and upload a copy to your computer. This will help ensure that it’s available if and when you need it.
Your inventory should be updated every year; the best time is right after the holidays, when you may have received a big-ticket item like a tablet device or piece of furniture.
Final note: some of the most frequently forgotten items on household inventories are the contents of refrigerators/freezers, pantries, garages, basements and attics. Make sure you capture these areas, because when it comes to replacement or repair, you want to make sure you’re not overlooking any of your belongings.
Depending on the size of your home, creating a home inventory takes less than an hour or two – time well spent to ensure a speedier, more efficient claims process from companies like Integrity Insurance. Why not do yours this weekend?