No one likes to think about it, but fire departments respond to an average of 343,100 home fires every year. If disaster strikes, you could potentially lose your home and all your belongings within it. While you may not own a Picasso painting, all your furniture, electronics, and jewelry can really add up. A home inventory can help you and your insurance company replace what you’ve lost. Here’s how to start yours!
How to create a home inventory
A home inventory is simply a record of the items in your home, which you can present to an insurance company in the event of a claim. You may be wondering, “What should go into a home inventory?”
Many home inventories include the following information:
- A detailed list of your possessions.
- The serial or model number of every major item and manufacturer.
- Each item’s value.
- Date of purchase.
- Receipts and appraisals of any large items.
- Pictures or videos of your items or rooms.
Quick tip: Take four pictures of every room in your home. This way, you can ensure you have photos of every possession in the space.
What items should be in your home inventory list
Everything should be in your home inventory, and we do mean “everything.” While this may sound overwhelming, your home inventory doesn’t have to be completed in one day. Treat it with the same level of care you would a home improvement project. Take an hour or two a week or allot yourself one room a week until you finish your home inventory.
Also, start with your big-ticket items. This way, those would be replaced easily if fire or water damage happens before you finish your inventory.
Big-ticket items include: electrical devices and appliances, such as TVs, computers, tablets, gaming equipment, gym equipment, refrigerators, washing machine, dryer, grill, and power tools; collectables, memorabilia, musical instruments, jewelry, and other valuables.
Smaller-ticket items are equally important, and you may have more than one. When documenting items such as clothing and cookware, you don’t need to be as specific. Listing these items such as “20 shirts” and “4 baking dishes” usually is enough. If you have high-end designer products, such as Coach bags, these should be documented separately. If you have any questions, be sure to check with your insurance carrier or agent.
Also, don’t forget to check your closets, basement, attic, and garage for items, too!
Keep your home inventory up to date
While you should review your homeowners insurance policy annually, it is important to update your home inventory as needed. This is especially important when it comes to those “big-ticket” items. Did you get a new flat screen for your birthday or a bracelet for your anniversary? Then add those items to your home inventory.
Also, make sure to keep a digital copy of your home inventory. While a hard copy is a good start, it could be destroyed if your home is consumed by a fire. Upload your home inventory into a digital space, such as the FMI HomeAssist app. You’ll have your inventory at your fingertips, and with it on your phone, you can easily snap a quick photo to add an item at any time.
Ensuring you have the right amount of coverage
Some of your more expensive items may require additional coverage, such as an endorsement or a rider. A home inventory will either confirm that you have the right amount of insurance or illuminate gaps. Once you complete your home inventory, give your insurance agent a call to discuss your options.
Get more home tips in the FMI HomeAssist app!
Your home is your most valuable asset. Now there’s an app for it. FMI HomeAssist, powered by vipHomeLink is a free app and service, exclusively for FMI policyholders. It allows you to organize, maintain and improve your home all from one easy-to-use, intuitive app.
From personalized maintenance reminders to keeping all your documents and info in one secure location, HomeAssist is your go-to resource for protecting your home and preventing costly claims. It’s one more way FMI goes the extra mile to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Claim your personalized FMI HomeAssist app now and help protect your home!
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