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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.
It’s not a pleasant topic, but what would happen if your home were damaged, burned down, or otherwise destroyed, or if your property was lost or stolen? Would you be able to recall everything you had in your home? Trying to remember when you bought your television is the last thing you’ll want to be doing in the midst of a disaster.
It may seem like an overwhelming and time-consuming process, but try to think about the peace of mind you will have once your home inventory is complete. You don’t have to complete it all in one day, weekend or week. Even if disaster strikes before you have completed it, having a partial list is better than no list at all.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is the goal of a home inventory, and why do I need it?
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The goal of a home inventory is to be able to hand this document over to your insurance company or use it to create a list of items lost. The reason homeowners have insurance is so they can be reimbursed and made as financially whole as possible in the event of a loss.
Having a detailed inventory of everything you own should increase your insurance reimbursement and possibly reduce the time it takes to be reimbursed. You increase your chances of a better reimbursement because you have a list of what you owned and proof that you owned it (photos, videos, receipts). Rather than trying to recall what you had in the midst of a disaster, you will have completed it before you sustained the loss.
The insurance company isn’t going to reimburse you for anything you don’t remember you had. And according to the Insurance Journal, having a home inventory may “halve the time it takes to process a claim.”
What should a home inventory include?
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The key to a good inventory is detailed descriptions and information and proof of ownership. A home inventory should be a list of everything you own, along with the date you bought it and financial information including purchase price and more.
It should include descriptions, make, and model and serial numbers (where applicable) for more expensive items. It should also provide proof that you actually owned the items on your list. You can accomplish this with photos. If you want to be really thorough, a video of all areas of your home is a great idea.
You should also attach any receipts, purchase …….