Fire, flood, burglary and other disastrous occurrences can be stressful, but recovering from them can be even more challenging if you’re not prepared. Having a detailed list of your home’s contents could speed your claim processing, and provide documentation for tax deductions you can claim for your losses.
Are You Covered?
More than half of all homeowners in the United States do not carry adequate homeowner’s insurance to replace their home and its contents should a catastrophic loss occur. An up-to-date home inventory can help you determine if you have the correct amount of insurance. It’s important to review your policy annually. Your Farm Bureau Insurance agent can help you make sure you have the right coverage to protect what’s most important to you.
You can take photos or videos to help you record your belongings, but be sure to also write down descriptions, including value, year, make, model, and serial number, where appropriate. It’s often best to categorize your possessions by room. For many items like books, CDs, linens, clothes or kitchen utensils, you can make a general estimate of how many you have. It’s also a good idea to photograph the outside of your home and your vehicles. Be sure to store your inventory somewhere it can be easily accessed after a disaster. There are many free inventory tools and software available online.
For valuable items, such as firearms, jewelry, artwork and collectibles, you may want to have an appraisal to determine the item’s worth. Some items may increase in value over time. Check with your Farm Bureau agent to make sure these are covered under your policy. Some items may need to be insured separately.
Don’t be overwhelmed!
If you’re just setting up a household, starting an inventory list can be relatively simple. If you’ve been living in the same house for many years, however, the task of creating a list can be daunting. Still, it’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all. You might start with recent purchases and then try to remember what you can about older possessions.
Keep Vital Records Safe
Along with your home inventory, you should store vital records in a safe place. Vital records may include:
- birth certificate
- marriage certificate
- divorce decree
- adoption papers
- child custody papers
- driver’s license
- social security card
- military service identification
- tax statements
- will, trust, powers of attorney
- medical information
Store paper copies in a waterproof and fireproof box, safe, or bank deposit box. Leave copies with trusted relatives or friends. Secure electronic copies in a password-protected format on a removable flash or external hard drive in your fireproof and waterproof box or safe, or consider using a secure cloud-based service.
Bring Us Your World. We’ll Protect It.
At Farm Bureau Insurance, our world revolves around yours. Bring us your world. Together, we’ll find a way to identify risks and help create some certainty between you and the unknown.