Determine The Right Coverage

Homeowners and renters:

It pays to know your stuff

In 2011 alone, severe weather disasters across the country inflicted more than $43 billion in damage. But research suggests that more than half of consumers do not have an inventory of their possessions. Creating a simple home inventory helps you track what you own and what it is worth, making important insurance decisions easier.

Whether you live in tornado alley, wildfire zones or along coastlines prone to flooding and hurricanes – now is the time to make sure you have properly insured your ‘stuff.’ An inventory is especially important for families who have amassed years of personal possessions.

How to create a home inventory

  • Group your possessions into logical categories, i.e., by hobby, by room in your home, etc.
  • Your list should include celebration purchases like jewelry and art, as well as everyday leisure items such as televisions and guitars.
  • Don’t forget items you use rarely such as holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, etc.
  • Pull together copies of original sales receipts and/or appraisal documents. Also note model and serial numbers.
  • Carefully photograph or videotape each item and document a brief description, including age, purchase price and estimated current value. Download a home inventory checklist (PDF).
  • Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily accessible place online, on your computer or in a fire-proof box or safe deposit box. Consider sharing a copy with friends, relatives and your insurance provider.

A home inventory can be invaluable when deciding how much insurance coverage fits your life situation and makes sure you are adequately protected should you need to file a claim.

Get more homeowners insurance tips.

This article is from the National Association Of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Insure U website.