If something happened to your house—a fire, for example—do you know how much it would cost to replace all your belongings? We’re not just talking about the big-ticket items, like your TV or your refrigerator. What about all the kids’ toys, your kitchen utensils, your bath towels—everything down to your socks?
If you don’t know the answer to the question, “How much are your belongings worth?” you aren’t alone. According to Allstate’s “Protect It or Lose It” survey of more than 1,000 U.S. homeowners polled in June, 41 percent say they haven’t reassessed the value of their possessions or documented them.
You may not realize it, but creating a home inventory, complete with the value of your possessions, can be important if the unexpected happens and you need to file an insurance claim. So, for the 90 percent of homeowners who said in the survey that they care about protecting their homes, making a home inventory can help them know what they have so they can purchase insurance to help protect it.
Here are some tips to help you make a home inventory:
Videotape or take pictures of each room in your home to physically document your belongings. While videotaping, it may be helpful to narrate, discussing each item and noting special features, including their condition.
If you fear that you might forget about particular items, keeping a thorough checklist is a great way to make sure you’re documenting all your belongings. In your checklist, you should include the type of item, its original price (including the receipt, if possible), the year you purchased it and its serial number, in addition to any other pertinent information. Once you finalize your inventory, you should make sure to store it in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box.
If you’re concerned that your physical inventory checklist might get damaged or lost, you may want to consider creating a digital inventory, using a tool such as Allstate’s Digital Locker, for organizing and storing your information. In addition to listing important information about each possession, you can also upload videos and images to an online account.
The unexpected can happen in life, so being proactive now can help you protect your belongings—just in case. You never know if that home inventory will come in handy one day, but if the event arises, you won’t be sorry you took the time to do it.