An updated personal property inventory will make your life a lot easier if you have to make a claim. Here’s how to create one.
When you have to make a home insurance claim, a current personal property inventory will make the claims process just that much easier. Keeping that inventory off-site in the event of fire or flood ensures you always have it when you need it. Consider updating it regularly, each fall or spring, for instance, and advise your agent of any major changes.
We want to make starting a personal property inventory a no-brainer. Read on for the information you need to get your list started!
Why is it important to keep a personal property inventory?
We’ve all seen the increase in incidents of severe weather, here in British Columbia and across the country – forest and wildfires, ice, rain and floods. The bottom line: severe weather is, more and more, part of our lives, no matter the season. Such events, and their increasing frequency, make it critical that you properly insure your property – and the contents of that property – with insurance.
It’s vital to expect the unexpected – to be prepared. You want to make sure that if your house is damaged or destroyed, it’s insured for an accurate replacement value. To do so, you need to have a thorough personal property inventory of the contents of your home that states the associated value of those contents. This information will assist both you and your insurance agent to confirm the appropriate insurance coverage. In the event of a claim, this inventory will help ensure you receive the proper compensation.
Creating a home inventory
The first step, be sure to copy and print this handy Personal Property Inventory Checklist or download the Excel sheet. These documents will help you to keep track of your possessions room by room. As you take stock of what you own, consider the following.
- Store all of your receipts and records in a safe place. A secure online resource or a safety deposit box – a safe place off-site from your home.
- Keep any receipts, bills, warranties, and instruction manuals for those possessions that are more valuable. They will help to prove ownership should it come into question.
- Review your personal property inventory every year and when you purchase new items. The more you acquire, the more your list will increase in value.
- As best you can, take photographs or videos of those possessions that have a high value. A shot of each room, from a few different angles, is helpful.
- As with your other documentation, store records such as taxes, credit cards, government and other important household documents in a location safely off-site.
When to update your home inventory
We can often feel motivated to do big housekeeping projects in the spring and fall. Either of these times of year is great for preparing or updating your personal property inventory list. When you do anything to increase the value of your home – a renovation or expensive houseware purchase – you should update your inventory. And inform your insurance agent, too!
When you have a thorough, updated inventory of the contents of your home along with the associated value of each item. This information will help confirm that you have the appropriate coverage, and in the event of a loss, help you receive the proper compensation.
What to provide your insurance agent for a claim
It’s a sad fact, but no matter what we do, or how careful we are, losses can still happen. If your home or its contents are damaged or destroyed, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. As best you can, have the following handy:
- Insurance policies
- Home or personally property inventory (or similar records)
- Credit card records (some creditors provide limited insurance for purchases)
- Photos (and/or video)