Imagine this: you’re asked to list everything you own; furniture, electronics, personal items, and even the contents of your kitchen drawers. Getting a hang of your home inventory is important, especially when it comes to contents insurance. This comprehensive guide will walk you through creating a detailed record of all your worldly goods, making an arduous task manageable.
Table of Contents
What is Continents Insurance?
Contents insurance covers the financial cost of repairing or replacing your household personal possessions and furnishings. These can range from curtains, furniture, and white goods to stereos, TVs, computers and other electrical appliances, clothing, sporting equipment, and even toys. Some policies even cover items that you normally take outside your home, such as cameras and jewelry.
Different types of contents insurance policies are available. You have ‘new-for-old’ policies that replace items with new ones, regardless of their age. Then there are ‘set sum’ insured policies, where you decide the amount to insure your contents for. The choice depends on your individual needs and budget.
Why bother with contents insurance? Well, it’s simple. In the unfortunate event of a burglary, natural disaster, or fire, having contents insurance can save you from massive financial stress, helping you replace or repair damaged or lost goods.
Why Do You Need to Do Home Inventory?
A home inventory is a detailed list of all your belongings. It’s crucial in determining how much your contents insurance should cover. It can also speed up the claim process and help verify losses for your income tax return.
Imagine dealing with the fallout of a devastating bushfire that consumed your home. Amidst the shock and loss, you’re faced with the task of listing every single item that was in your home for your insurance claim.
Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it?
With a comprehensive home inventory, it is more manageable. The detailed list allows for quicker, more accurate insurance claims, reducing the additional stress of having to remember each item you lost. In such distressing circumstances, a home inventory can be a lifeline, providing essential support when you need it most.
While you’re at it, doing an inventory can also be an opportunity for decluttering your home. You can find things that you no longer need, and dispose of them instead of piling them up.
Creating a home inventory might seem overwhelming at first, but it can be tackled systematically. Choose a quiet day, grab a notepad or your laptop, and take it one room at a time.
Start by deciding whether you prefer the pen-and-paper approach or the digital method. There’s no wrong way to create a home inventory as long as you’re thorough.
For each item, note down a description, where you bought it, the make and model, and any serial numbers. If you have the receipt, that’s even better.
From your brand-new telly to your grandma’s antique ring, your belongings likely fall into a variety of categories. Here’s how to document different types of items:
- Furniture and Appliances: Record the make, model, and serial number. Note any identifying marks, and take photographs from different angles.
- Electronics: The same rules apply. Keep a copy of the receipt if you have it. In the case of digital content like ebooks or music, remember to keep a record of these too.
- Jewellery and Antiques: For valuable items, it’s often worth getting an appraisal. Make sure to take detailed photos.
For collections, such as books, CDs, or wines, you don’t have to list every single item. Instead, you could record the total number and estimated total value, along with any particularly valuable pieces.
In every case, remember the ‘limit definition‘ in your policy. This refers to the maximum amount your insurance will pay for particular categories of items. If your belongings exceed these limits, you must consider adding extra cover.
Several apps and software options can make the home inventory process a breeze in our digital age. These tools let you organize your items by room, add photos, and update information easily. They can even store digital copies of receipts.
Consider options like Sortly, Nest Egg, or MyStuff2 for iOS users. For those with Android devices, options include BluePlum Home Inventory or Memento Database. These apps offer varying features, from barcode scanning to cloud sync, so do some research and find a tool that suits your needs.
Your home inventory isn’t a set-and-forget thing. Every time you make a significant purchase, add it to the list. Did you buy a new TV during the EOFY sales? Add it. Did you inherit a precious piece of jewelry? Add it.
Consider setting a reminder to go through your inventory every six months. You could align this with daylight savings time changes or tie it to your regular home maintenance activities. This way, you can be sure your contents insurance always reflects the true value of your belongings.
Once you’ve put all that effort into creating your home inventory, ensure it’s stored safely. Keep a copy in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box. Alternatively, consider emailing a copy to yourself or storing it in the cloud.
If you’re using a home inventory app, make sure to back up your data regularly. Also, check that the app has good security measures in place to protect your information.
Creating a home inventory might seem like a big job, but consider the peace of mind it brings. Whether it’s a bushfire, a burglary, or a burst pipe, life has a habit of throwing curveballs. With a comprehensive home inventory in hand, you’ll be ready to face whatever comes your way, knowing you have the information you need to get your contents insurance claim sorted quickly and accurately.
By undertaking this endeavor, you’re not just creating a list, you’re taking a significant step toward securing your peace of mind. And that’s worth every minute spent.