Imagine: You’ve spent a lifetime building a happy and healthy home. You’ve filled it with family, friends, laughter, and memories. But one day you get a call saying your home is on fire, or you come home to messy remains of a break in, and all those things which reminded you every day of how lucky you are were gone. No one can imagine the devastation of losing one’s home and possessions.
Unfortunately we can never predict a loss and should you fall victim to a fire, theft, or other event, it can be incredibly difficult to remember all of your possessions and their approximate values. You shouldn’t need the added stress of trying to remember every little detail of your home, but instead should be focusing on picking up the pieces and healing. This is why it is important to create and maintain a home inventory form. Your form documents all the possessions in your home and their replacement value for the event of this very scenario, which you can provide your insurer.
What is the list and how do I make one?
The list is a document which outlines everything in your home with a brief description of each item including its value. This takes a huge step out of filing a claim. We have created a handy form which you can download and print as many times as you need.
What should I include in my list?
Everything! Go through each room in your home and record each possession. Don’t skip closets, cabinets and drawers, sheds, your garage, or your attic. If you are able, use a camera or video camera to record each room.
I’ve completed the form. What now?
- Put it in a safe place like a safety deposit box. Do not keep it in your home! Should your home and possessions be lost in a fire, for example, your form will also be lost.
- Make copies of important documents like the deed to your home, birth certificates and passports, car ownership, insurance documents, bank account and credit card numbers, and tax returns for at least the past 5 years. Keep these copies with your form in your safety deposit box.
- Don’t just make the list and never think of it again. Review and edit it accordingly each year.
What else should I know?
Your standard home insurance policy will cover the value of your possessions for up to 70-80% of the value of your home. As you fill out your form and calculate the value of your possessions be aware of the value of your home. If your possessions exceed 70-80% of the value of your home it may be a good time to donate the excess or have a yard sale. Speak with your broker to be absolutely sure of your coverage and for more advice regarding how to protect yourself in the event of a loss.