Updating your Home Inventory
by Lauren Lanni, Lanni Insurance of California
It’s April and we’re right in the middle of spring, and many of us are getting ready to perform that annual upheaval of the home – the Spring Clean. What you may not know is that it’s also the perfect time to do another household project that should be done yearly – your Home Inventory.
A home inventory is a list of your possessions that is useful in making a quick and accurate claim with your insurance company in case of a natural disaster or other large home insurance claim. I recommend my clients update their home inventory every spring – what better time to take stock of what you have than when you are emptying your closets, dusting things off, and organizing in general.
Write down any large purchases you may have overlooked from the holidays and other end-of-winter shopping events like President’s Day Weekend. If you just purchased a new flat screen TV to watch the Super Bowl on in February, write it down and file the receipt. The easiest way is to go from one room to the next and jot down each article of furniture, electronics, sporting goods, home décor, and the other items in your home. Throughout the year, make sure you keep the receipts of any big-ticket items to help catalog your claim quickly.
Now is also a good time to realize that you may need to add riders or even a separate inland marine policy to your homeowners’ policy for any high value items that could have a low coverage ceiling. Items like jewelry, art, first edition books, firearms, computers, and antiques, all may need special attention. Remember, you will usually need an appraisal for these items and your insurance agent will be able to recommend a qualified professional.
This is also a good time to decide whether you want full replacement value for your items or depreciated replacement cost for them. For example, this will decide whether you get a brand new TV in the event yours is damaged or the depreciated amount your old TV was worth. This may be a large difference in reimbursement so talk it over with your agent.
Our agency provides convenient lists that guide our clients’ itemization. But another quick way to take inventory is with a video camera. Walk through your house and narrate what you are filming, making sure to pay attention to electronics, furniture, and any other high value or important items. These days, there are even home inventory back up apps for your smart phone, like Home Inventory, Inventory, and My Stuff. And there even more programs for your home computer.
No matter which way your keep track of your belongings, updating your home inventory each spring will help keep you ready for the annual Southern California fire season, and able to rest a bit easier knowing your home is prepared.
by Lauren Lanni
Lanni Insurance of California
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