It’s great to have insurance against damage and loss, but if you can’t show proof of your possessions, it may result in a protracted settlement process with your insurance company and an unsatisfactory result. Minimize the headache and heartache of a loss by creating an inventory of your possessions.
Four Tips for Creating an Inventory
Tip #1 – Make a Video of Your Possessions. A visual record of your possessions is the best proof of ownership. When videoing your home contents, make sure you are methodical and thorough in going through all your rooms and storage spaces. Speak while you are taping to describe each item; include any relevant information (e.g., “this is a signed first edition of “Moby Dick.”).
Tip #2 – Document Value of Your Items. Scan, photograph, or video receipts of the items in your home. Indicate the make and model where appropriate. If you have artwork or antiques, consider creating a record of any appraisal you may have received on your collectibles.
Tip #3 – Secure Your Inventory. An inventory doesn’t help much if you keep it in the house and your home burns to the ground. If your video is digital (highly recommended), consider storing the file in a “cloud” account rather than on your computer, or alternately, on a USB stick stored in a safety deposit box.
Tip #4 – Keep Your Inventory Updated. Failure to regularly update your inventory may mean unintentionally leaving off expensive new purchases.
Get started by asking your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance agent if they have an inventory checklist, which may help you remember to include items that you might otherwise overlook.
Andrea L. Blackwelder, CFP®, ChFC, CDFA® and Joseph D. Clemens, CFP®, EA are the founders and partners of Wisdom Wealth Strategies. Their shared passion is simple: to bring financial empowerment, understanding, and peace-of mind to people who wish to improve their financial future, build wealth for their families, and achieve financial independence. Click here to find out more about how you can work with the Denver Financial Advisors at Wisdom Wealth Strategies.