When was the last time you reviewed your homeowner’s insurance policy? If you can’t remember, then it’s way past time to do it. If you recently bought or were gifted expensive items such as a big-screen TV, computer equipment, appliances, jewelry, or art, they need to be added to the policy.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy covers your house and the things inside. Make sure you know what those things are in case you need to account for them due to a natural disaster, damage, loss, or theft. You can keep track of those items and their value by performing an inventory.
An inventory does not need to be a daunting task. This is an easy way to do it.
Make a list of the rooms in your house. Inventory one room at a time.
For each room, write categories of possessions, like “clothing,” “furniture,” “appliances,” and “books.” Assign a dollar value to each category. If you have receipts for your items, attach them to the inventory. If you don’t have the receipts, estimate how much you paid for the items in each group. For example:
Framed prints: $650
Single out expensive or collectible items like jewelry, home theater equipment, or signed paintings. Describe them in detail with the cost, the brand name, and the serial number (if there is one). Estimate the date you bought each piece.
Pro Tip: Ask your insurance agent if your policy covers jewelry and other expensive items. Most policies limit coverage of those pieces unless you buy an additional “rider.”
A rider is an insurance policy provision that adds benefits to or amends the terms of a basic insurance policy. It can provide additional coverage options or even restrict or limit coverage. There are different types of riders. Make sure you have the right coverage or are not paying extra for coverage already in
Okay, back to the inventory …
Once you have listed all of the items in a room, take a picture of the room from several angles so your photos show everything inside. Photograph unique or expensive items separately.
Film every room by slowly walking around it. Narrate as you walk, describe the items and their cost.
After you have taken photos and videos, upload them to a flash drive. Store the flash drive in a secure
Step into the digital age and save your inventory on a homeowner app like HomeZada Digital Home Management. This cloud-based storage allows you to organize the information by categories and add more information over time. Plus, you can access it from anywhere, even if your computer or flash drive is not accessible. We suggest using HomeZada, as does Rosie on the House Certified Partner, Get Organized with Bridges & Co. For an extra layer of security save those photos and documents on a flash drive.
Save the receipts for items purchased after the inventory, especially for big-ticket items like electronics, appliances, and furniture. Add those items to your inventory soon after purchase and alert your insurance agent.
In the Know
Phocus Insurance Services, a Rosie on the House Certified Partner, strongly recommends that you keep in touch with your insurance agent. You may add items to your home throughout the year, not knowing they should be included in your policy.
For example, they suggest contacting your agent whenever changes are made to your home, personal life, or possessions. It’s important to have the right amount of coverage.
Home improvements are an investment in your home. High-dollar repairs and renovations, like a new roof or HVAC unit, can dramatically increase the value of your home. Hang on to those receipts!
When you pay off your mortgage, inform your agent so the lending institution can be removed from your policy.
People who work from home often designate a specific area for business purposes. This area should be covered by a business policy that is attached to your homeowner’s insurance.
You need a renter’s insurance policy if you live in a rental property. Renter’s insurance is typically not expensive and can often cover damage in the event of fire, wind, or water damage.
If you have tenants in a rental or living in a part of your home, you are responsible for the home and your possessions. You are not liable for your renter’s possessions. Tell your insurance agent what part of your home is exclusive to the renter and what possessions are for your personal use.
Keep the documents and images of your inventory safely stored in case your home is damaged, robbed, or destroyed. You may want to keep them in a safety deposit box at the bank or a copy with a trusted family member or friend.
At a time of loss, which can be emotional, it will be less stressful knowing you have the information you need for your insurance claim.
A Different Kind of Inventory
Insurance inventory aside, take a general inventory of the odds and ends in your home. How many blenders can one household use? Do you have multiple sets of dishes and glasses you don’t use? How about an abundance of coats that came along when you moved from a cold state? Go through those items and donate them to charities that will get them into the hands of those who need them. If those items are on your policy, remove them. A home organization company, like Get Organized With Bridges &
Co., can help you do that.
Pro Tip: Remove items for your policy that you no longer own. You may end up saving money on your
A home inventory provides peace of mind and gives you control of your items.
Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions & comments.
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.