A home inventory is an excellent way to expedite the insurance claims process after theft, damage or loss. This record of your insurable assets will not only help you in the settlement of a covered loss or claim, but will also help verify tax-deductible property losses and determine the right amount of insurance coverage you need.
Here are a few steps to make creating a home inventory as easy as 1-2-3.
1. Choose a Method
While a home inventory can be as simple as a list or a visual record, an effective home inventory should include both for added security.
State Farm HomeIndex®
Your inventory: Simplified™. State Farm HomeIndex is a free online tool that combines the home inventory list with the visual record, all in one place. HomeIndex makes documenting your valuables especially easy because it walks you through the inventory process, allows you to share your inventory with your agent, and can even help you when you move.
Home Inventory List
A comprehensive home inventory list catalogs your belongings and should include the item description (make, model, and serial number, if applicable), value and purchase date. You can create your own list using a spreadsheet or fill out a home inventory checklist that's ready to go.
A visual record of your possessions shows proof of ownership. This can be accomplished with a video walk-through of your home or through a series of photographs.
2. Document Thoroughly
Your home inventory should support the claims process for events ranging from the total loss of your home by fire to the theft of a few items. That's why it's important to thoroughly document your belongings to ensure proper coverage.
A good way to start is to move from room to room, listing items as you go. Don't forget to include the items in your basement, attic, garage, and any detached structures, such as tool sheds. Also, pay special attention to your most valuable possessions, such as antiques, art, jewelry, collectibles and electronic equipment. If you have any questions about which items are covered by your policy, contact your insurance agent.
Keeping proper documentation will also help to facilitate the claims process. This documentation, which can be scanned for digital storage, includes:
Credit card statements
Other transaction documents
Appraisals (include the appraiser's name and address)
Once you've created your home inventory, make sure to update it as you acquire or get rid of items over time.
3. Keep Your Home Inventory Safe
Don't let your home inventory become part of a property loss. Whichever inventory method you choose, it's important to keep a copy in a bank safe deposit box or other secure location away from your home. This is another advantage of using an online tool like State Farm HomeIndex — it secures your information on the Internet, so you can access it from anywhere, whenever you need it.