Keeping track and documenting all of your personal belonging can seem like an overwhelming task. But it is much better to be safe than sorry! The whole reason we have insurance is to protect us from theft or a catastrophic event like a fire. It’s far better to safeguard your assets now before something happens. It will make filing a claim much easier and ensure that you receive the best reimbursement possible. In an effort to help you guide you through the process, we’ve come up with some tips on how to inventory your belongings for insurance purposes.
Make a List
Start by creating a list of each individual item, its worth, description, and receipt from purchase (if available). Include brands, models, purchase prices, serial numbers, etc. The more information you can gather, the better. Without a detailed list, your insurance company will more than likely reimburse you for the cheapest comparable item – hence the importance of keeping diligent records to secure the best outcome on your claim.
You can create your own private spreadsheet or use an inventory app that stores a room-by-room record of your belongings. Don’t forget to take into consideration how and where these records will be kept. Be sure to save these records digitally and keep backup copies in a separate location, like a safety deposit box or at a friend or relative’s home.
Take pictures and/or videos of your possessions. Having a visual record is not only a way to provide support for your list, but it’s also an added protection. It will also help your insurance company when assessing the value of claimed items.
Check and Update Annually
A yearly review ensures that you have an up-to-date list. It’s a great way to reassess and reevaluate what items are still current. Perhaps some of your items have depreciated in value or you need to add new purchases to the list.
Assess Coverage for Personal Property
While this type of coverage may come standard with your insurance policy, it’s best to check whether your have enough coverage. Take into consideration all of your expensive electronic/technology products, jewelry, artwork, family heirlooms, designer furniture, etc. We often underestimate the value of our belongings and a standard policy may not cover the cost of replacing these items. Furthermore, some policies have value limits per items. You may need to purchase special protection for high-priced items.
Summary of How to Inventory Your Belongings for Insurance Purposes
We hope this guidance on how to inventory your belongings for insurance purposes helps you get started. With up-front preparation, your belongings are more likely to be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy in case of a loss. Please contact us for additional information and guidance on personal property protection within your Massachusetts homeowner’s policy.