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Creating A Home Inventory Checklist- Please do it!

A Home Inventory Checklist is a valuable tool when calculating the replacement cost of personal property. This is useful when deciding how much insurance you need to purchase to cover your belongings and equally useful when you need to file an insurance claim.

What is a Home Inventory Checklist? --------------------------------------------------- A Home Inventory Checklist is a list or spreadsheet of all your personal property, including a description, make and model, price and date of purchase. It may also include the serial number of items. If you can’t remember all of the exact information, just estimate it. The inventory should also include photos or videotape of each room, items within each room, and the exterior of your home.

Download one from us HERE. Take a Room-by-Room Approach ---------------------------------------------------- To begin, go room-by-room and write down all furniture, appliances, electronics, computers, clothing, artwork, jewelry, tools, equipment, musical instruments, DVD and music collections, luggage and other items. Items such as cookware, books, toys and clothing do not need to be listed individually, unless they are of particular value. Rather you can group these items together and estimate the total value. As you go through each room, write down all information for and take pictures of the following items: Living Room: Include all furniture, big-ticket electronic equipment, DVD and music collections. Make note of any artwork. Bedrooms: Include all furniture and other large valuable items. Inventory your clothing, shoes, purses, undergarments, etc. and group these. Unless your clothing is vintage or designer, you don’t need to list pieces individually. Expensive jewelry should be recorded individually. These items should also be scheduled on your insurance policy. Kitchen: Include all appliances (big and small), group dishes and other items and estimate the total value. Other Rooms: Be sure to go through your laundry room, garage/shed, attic, basement and other rooms in your home. Include all appliances (like the washer/dryer), tools and other equipment stored in these areas. More valuable items, such as lawn mowers and bicycles) should be recorded separately, while smaller items (such as sporting gear and small tools) can be grouped together. Record any heirlooms or other valuable items you may have stored away somewhere in the house. You want to be sure you account for everything. To get started quickly, click here to access a template for your Home Inventory Checklist provided courtesy of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Storing Your Home Inventory Checklist --------------------------------------------------------- Once you’ve completed a Home Inventory Checklist, be sure to store it in a safe place. If you created the Checklist on your computer, save an electronic copy of the list and all the photos on your hard drive. You should also print a hard copy of the list and photos and store these in a fireproof safe in your home or in a safe deposit box. Finally, you may want to save the list and photos on a CD and store that with the hard copy and/or give a copy of it to a trusted friend or relative to keep for you. That way, if your home is destroyed, a complete copy of your Home Inventory Checklist is still available to you. Perform an Annual Review -------------------------------------- Creating a Home Inventory Checklist is just the first step in protecting your personal belongings from theft or damage. It’s important to update your Home Inventory Checklist regularly, especially after major purchases or holidays, such as Christmas. You want to be sure your new items as well as your heirlooms are included in your Checklist in case you need to put it to use. It’s also important to review your homeowners insurance policy periodically with your insurance agent or company representative to make sure you have sufficient coverage to protect your home and belongings. Remember, if you update your Checklist, you may also need to increase your insurance to cover your new items.

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