Maintaining a thorough home inventory is a critical addition to your homeowners insurance policy. By documenting your possessions and updating the list on a regular basis, you can ensure you have enough coverage, settle claims faster, and substantiate losses for income tax purposes.
A traditional home inventory is a basic list of all belongings along with receipts that substantiate value. With digital cameras and camcorders, the process of creating a home inventory is simple. By electronically documenting your home inventory, you can account for items you may not have thought to include in a written list. Videotaped inventories are especially useful as they can be narrated to include important details of each item.
Keep copies of supportive records, including sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals. Record the serial numbers for major appliances and electronic equipment, which are usually found on the back or bottom of these items.
Once you finish documenting your inventory, either print out the files or burn a CD. Keep a copy in a safety deposit box or have a friend store it. In case your home is severely damaged, or if you experience a hard-drive crash, it is critical to keep a second copy of your home inventory off-premises.
Finally, remember to update your home inventory annually to add newly acquired items and remove items you no longer own.