If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably already prepared for emergencies like fires, hurricanes and floods. Does your preparation include an inventory of your contents? Do you know how much it would cost to replace all of your belongings if a natural disaster happened right now? We’re not just talking about roof damage or window damage. What about your furniture, kids’ toys, utensils and even your socks.
Take the time to inventory the contents of your home or business properly before you have to file a claim. Documenting an inventory of your contents increases your chance of getting paid by your insurance company, and it will help you receive a fair insurance claim settlement.
As public adjusters, we often see Insurance policyholders receive an underpaid insurance claim because they never inventoried their contents. As a result, the property owners are forced to cover any extra damage that could not be substantiated to the insurance company. Don’t make the same mistake. Make an inventory of your contents so you can get the money you deserve from your insurance company.
How to Create a Content Inventory
The first thing you need to do to create a content inventory is to make a list of everything in your home. From top to bottom, make a list of everything that you would have to replace if a catastrophe struck your home today. It helps to take pictures or video of your home and all your personal belongings. Also, determine the replacement value of your home and items.
Creating an Inventory Checklist
The benefit of creating a checklist for your inventory is that it helps document everything that you own. The best place to start is in a small area. For example, you should consider starting in your closet, kitchen cabinets or your home office. You should also start with your most recent purchases. This is a good time to gather all of your receipts. Don’t forget to inventory your off-site items. For example, if you have a tool shed outside your home, you should compile a list of every tool that you own.
These items will help you create a proper inventory:
- Spreadsheet or mobile inventory app
- Original receipts
- Serial numbers associated with items
Your insurance company may have resources or mobile apps to help with inventory, so start there. However, there’s no shortage of third-party apps designed for this purpose. Search your app store for “home inventory.” Be sure whatever app you use has some kind of export or reporting function so you can print, email or upload it. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy somewhere other than your home, whether it’s a safe-deposit box or a digital cloud account like Dropbox. You can also use a simple spreadsheet program, but take the same precautions of storing the information in more than one place.
Why Should I Take Pictures of My Contents?
The benefit of taking pictures of your inventoried content is that it can help you prove your belongings were in mint condition before experiencing any damage. The best way to take pictures of your belongings is with a cell phone or digital camera.
Why Should I Video Record My Contents?
If you want to go the extra mile to ensure that you’re prepared for any kind of damage in the future, you should video record all of your inventoried content. While video recording your home contents has the same benefit as photographing them, it never hurts to protect your belongings. Take a few minutes to video record each of your inventoried contents one by one and make a detailed description to go with each of them.
Need Help Estimating the Value of Your Home?
If you have already experienced home damage, and you need help, contact Sentry Public Adjusting. Our professional licensed public adjusters can help you calculate an accurate estimate of your home damage. We perform home estimates for FREE. There are no risks or obligations. We can also help you file an insurance claim to help you get the best settlement.
Sentry Public Adjusting works for you, not the insurance company. We have your best interest in mind, and our adjusters have decades of combined experience in the insurance and construction industries. We want to help you get your home or business back to its original condition. You shouldn’t be at the mercy of your insurance company. If you’d like to talk with one of our experienced licensed adjusters, call us today at 844-443-4357.