Getting Adequate Cover for Your Home

One of the most frustrating tasks when shopping for the best home insurance policy for your family is trying to figure out exactly what level of coverage you need. While some elements of your potential policy will vary based on whether you rent or own as well as whether your home is a single-family house or part of a larger structure, one thing will remain the same for every person looking to purchase a new policy: you will want to insure all of the physical possessions you have in your home. From computers and televisions to your sofa, bed, and refrigerator, everything you have in your house that could be lost or damaged in the event of a disaster needs to be covered so that you are thoroughly protected in case the unthinkable happens. But how exactly do you come up with a total value for the items in your house? And what sort of documentation do you need in case you have to file a claim?

What Is a Home Inventory?

The single most important document you can create both when you are shopping for insurance as well as when you are already insured is an up-to-date home inventory. This record of everything you own will help you determine the level of personal property coverage you need as well as serving as an invaluable aid should you ever need to file a claim. Not just a list of everything in your house, it also will include such important information as purchase prices and dates, serial numbers, and pictures/videos to prove what items youÕve invested in.

How Do You Create a Home Inventory?

Creating a home inventory might seem like a very arduous task. Quite honestly, itÕs not going to be the most fun and exciting use of your time. The benefits of having an accurate record easily outweigh the inconveniences, however, and it is something that you will only need to do from scratch once. Luckily, there are a few tips you can heed to make the process of creating an inventory a little less tedious. Starting from the beginning, you will need to go through your house room by room and catalog everything you own that has any sort of monetary value. When you enter a room, start with the larger items such as furniture and electronics. Next, you can move on to your smaller possessions, from appliances to DVDs to cookery. Enter each of these items into a spreadsheet or word document on your computer. Once you have finished with one room, move on to the next one until you have gone through your whole house. After youÕre done physically moving around, you will want to clean up the document you have created and add more detailed information. Try to find the receipts from your purchases and enter the prices you paid, as well as any other important information, into your inventory. Once you have gone through this processÑand it will take a whileÑyou are almost done. The last step will be to document everything in your home with photographic evidence. If there is some sort of incident that causes you to make a claim, it will be up to you to prove that you owned all the items that have been stolen, damaged, or destroyed. Take the time now, therefore, to take pictures of everything in your home. Photograph each room from several different angles, take close-up shots of expensive possessions, and generally make sure you have every inch of your house documented. Now, save all the pictures in the same folder as your document (and back up the files offsite) and your home inventory is complete.

How Do You Use Your Home Inventory?

Once the record of all your possessions is complete, you can use this document to help find the best home insurance for you. Add up all of the prices you have determined, and you will know exactly what level of personal property coverage you need to include in your policy. You can also continue to use the inventory even after youÕre insured. As you buy new products for your home, update the inventory so it is always current. As you notice the total value of your possessions changing, you should update your insurance coverage. By keeping this fluid document always up to date, you can be sure that your insurance keeps working for you.

Navigating the Insurance Maze