Here's a quick quiz:
HOW CAN A HOME INVENTORY HELP?
In the unfortunate event of a major loss, your insurance company will need a lot of information to PROCESS your claim. If you’ve already created a home inventory, this process will be much easier and should be completed faster. Otherwise, you might not be able to account for everything, and if you’re unable to provide the required information, you may receive less than full COMPENSATION for your loss. Also, depending on your situation and the tax laws where you live, this information may also be required for a tax credit. And finally, if you file a police report for stolen items, having the model number and serial number will improve your odds for RECOVERING the stolen property.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO START
Although you could PAY a service company to come in to your house to conduct a home inventory, many people do it THEMSELVES using either a home inventory booklet, or a software program for recording their home inventory. Some people also include photographs, digital pictures, or video tape. Whichever you decide, you’re going to need to record the following information about each item:
FILLING IN THE DETAILS
In addition, you’ll need to record information about the VALUE of each item. Depending on whether your insurance company pays claims based on "replacement value" or "current value", you’ll need to record details such as:
HOW TO CONDUCT YOUR HOME INVENTORY
Now that you know what you need, here’s how to get started:
Okay, so after you’ve completed your home inventory you know what you have and how much it’s worth. Great! Now review your home insurance POLICY. Are you over insured? Under insured? Perhaps for the first time, you can answer this question easily by comparing your policy amount to the total VALUE of your household items.
STORING YOUR INVENTORY
Remember, if you store your home inventory list in your home, it could be DESTROYED along with your belongings. Whether your home inventory consists of a written list, diskette, cd-rom, paper report, photographs, or whatever, be sure to store it in a safe place -- preferably in another LOCATION such as at your work place, a friend’s house, or in a safe-deposit box.
DON'T PUT IT OFF
Perhaps you’ve been reading this article and thinking about creating your own home inventory. Get started now while it’s FRESH in your mind! If you have just moved into an apartment or house, starting your home inventory may be an easy task. This is a great time to begin organizing your home inventory. If you’ve been living in your house for awhile, however, you may have a lot of work to do. Now is the time to start! Plan to inventory at least one room in your house this week, and continue one room at a time until you’re done.
Kevin Sparks is the developer of the "Home Manager Software" which is available directly through www.OnlineOrganizing.com. You may contact him at .
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