Get started on your Home Inventory
Having a home inventory is important for a couple of reasons. This blog is to help you get started on creating your home inventory. Once you complete your inventory, make sure you keep it in a safe place and that you update it each year.
Getting Started with your Home Inventory
I’m putting this part first in this blog, so you can just get going with this project. Even if you only partially complete it today, at least you have something. If you can get it all done today, wonderful!
- Decide the format of your inventory: pen/paper, spreadsheet on computer, audio/video, or software app.
- Go room by room. Start from bottom up or top down. For example, open your front door and start with the curtains covering the front door window and start walking from room to room. Don’t forget to look around the walls (are there frames, art, shelving)? NOTE: Some of your items may not be covered under your home insurance policy – once you complete your inventory, call your Broker to discuss any gaps of insurance you would like to cover off before a loss happens.
- When you are done, store it in a safe place. If it’s paper, then put it in a fire-proof container or keep off-site in a safety deposit box, for example; you can make an electronic copy using a scanner or scan app on your smartphone or tablet. Electronic copies, including audio and video should be backed up (again on a device off site, if possible), or use the cloud.
- Make sure your family members know where to find this information.
- Schedule in your calendar when to do an update on your inventory (The new year may be a great time – after the gift-giving holidays, especially if you have time off. Spring Cleaning may also be a good time because you may clear out some of the old – these should be removed from your inventory).
Links to Tools & Resources
Paper Checklist or Electronic Spreadsheet
IBC has two checklists to help you get started with your inventory. You can go room by room and enter your items on the pdf document provided or the Excel spreadsheet provided. You can also do a quick video tour using these checklists as a guide.
Research software apps before using
If you would prefer to use a software app such as Sortly or Know Your Stuff, make sure you do your research before downloading these apps. Check out the reviews online. Your Insurance Company may have an app available; however, if you change companies, make sure this information can be retrieved. Remember to protect your privacy and identity by not providing this information for just anyone to stumble upon. Again, make sure this information can be easily retrieved.
The Benefits of Doing a Home Inventory
Insure to Value – Do you have adequate insurance in place?
Performing an inventory of your home belongings can help ensure you have adequate limits of insurance for your personal property.
Remember: certain items are subject to “special limits of insurance” such as jewelry, money, furs, bicycles, art, manuscripts, collectibles, memorabilia, business property at home and much more – discuss with your Broker anything you have of high value or where its value may fluctuate depending on the market or society’s tastes, or property that is a regular target for thieves, or items that are not usual to the majority of homeowners.
Reach out to one of our Founders Insurance brokers today to learn about how we can help make sure you have the proper coverages!
Submitting a Proof of Loss
When you report a loss to your Broker or Insurer, you will be required to submit a Proof of Loss which includes a list of damaged property and their values. If you have this list handy, it will speed up the claims process which can help get you back to life as you knew it prior to the loss.
Yes, Tenants and Condo Unit Owners need an inventory too
I just need to mention for any tenants or condominium unit owners that do improvements and betterments to their living space (e.g. new cupboards, flooring or other special renovations) – you need to the insure the value of these improvements on your property insurance policy. This includes the value of any betterments that were installed by a previous owner(s). If you have any questions about this, contact your Broker today to ensure you have adequate coverage in place. After a loss, you do not want to find out that you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket [again] to re-install those upgrades.
Review your insurance regularly
Before you leave, I want to remind you of the importance of reviewing your policy at least once a year. The purpose of insurance is to cover you in the unfortunate event of a loss. Each year, you go through changes – you may move, you may do renovations on your home, or you may have more stuff (by purchase, by gift or inheritance) – discuss these changes with your insurance broker to make sure nothing is missed and is not covered. While you don’t have to buy insurance on everything you own, it’s good to know what is not covered so that you can make appropriate arrangements in the event this uninsured property is lost or damaged. Make a note in your calendar to call us to review your insurance today.