As homeowners, we’re faced with concerns all the time — constantly fixing and updating, dealing with unexpected problems (like when my own home flooded 2 weeks ago), and really just protecting our investments and the possessions inside.
However, I recently found out about an interesting concept I had never heard of before: doing a home inventory. Makes sense, right? We’re supposed to inventory our homes or apartments (renters, you need to protect your possessions too!) in the case that something terrible happens and we need to get insurance to reimburse us for these items. But honestly, no one ever told me about this! And according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), I’m not alone. Research suggests 48 percent of consumers do not have an inventory of their possessions! Eek!
Anyway, NAIC reached out to me about some pretty useful information they’ve created — 8 Steps to Conducting a Home Inventory — and I wanted to pass them on to you so that we can all be a little wiser…
- Make a list of possessions, including ‘celebration’ purchases such as jewelry and fine art. Think about family heirlooms, collections and furniture. Also consider items related to everyday leisure time, from flat-screen televisions to custom guitars.
- Take note of commonplace items such as toys, CDs, and clothing. And don’t forget items you rarely use such as holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools and high-ticket items kept outside your home such as landscape art and swing sets.
- Attach copies of original sales receipts and/or appraisal documents to your inventory. Be sure to note model and serial numbers.
- Group your possessions into logical categories, i.e., by hobby, by room in your home.
- Carefully photograph or videotape each item and document a brief description including age, purchase price and estimated current value.
- Remember to open drawers and closets to document what’s inside.
- Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily accessible place such as online, a fire-proof box or in a safe deposit box. You may want to share a copy with your insurance provider so he or she can make necessary updates to your coverage.
- Review and update your inventory annually and whenever you make a significant purchase.
Don’t have an iPhone? Well then I guess you’re going to need a camera, right? Good thing my friends at NAIC have also decided to give away a Kodak Easyshare C122 to one lucky Plunge Project reader so that he/she can inventory their home or apartment!
There are a few ways to enter. Here’s how:
- Leave a comment on this post about your most prized possession that you will be sure to add to your home inventory.
- Like NAIC on Facebook and then leave a comment on here letting me know.
- Tweet the following – I entered to win a digital camera from NAIC & @PlungeProject! http://bit.ly/fbZOpV - then come back here and leave a comment letting me know.
(All entries must be a separate comment!)
Then, on March 25 at 5pm EDT, I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winner.