It might be easy to picture some of your home’s contents in your mind’s eye, but if given a pop quiz where you had to enumerate all of your home’s belongings, you might struggle. This is benign enough under normal circumstances, but it can become a problem in the event that something in your home goes missing, damaged, or stolen.
Disaster and misfortune can strike at any moment, and while it’s easy to put that out of mind and focus on more positive things, it’s also helpful to set aside time to prepare for the worst. That’s where a home inventory log can be handy. Essentially a master list of all valuables in your home, these logs keep a tally of crucial information regarding your personal property such as brand names, serial numbers, and the values of each item, whether they are components of a pricey home entertainment system or an heirloom china set.
Smart Digital offers a small start to your home inventory log at the bottom of our Home Security Assessment form, but if you require additional room to add in more valuables, other options include basic spreadsheets that can be saved to the cloud or securely stored on a thumb drive, or this home inventory template from Microsoft Office. Really, as long as you securely save your log and can access it during times of need, you should be good to go.
Once started, it’s a good idea to complete your inventory and keep it up to date whenever big purchases are made. (Think appliances, furnishings, and tech equipment.) Additionally, keeping photos of and receipts for the items in your home safely stored away can help expedite the claims process with your insurance company if something does happen to your home or its contents. And because home inventory logs are most helpful to insurance claims reps when they are helping you to reclaim your life and possessions following a tragedy – whether it be theft or damage to your home through fire or flood – anything that can be done to expedite their process is helpful.
According to Towne Insurance, the following additional steps can help boost the efficacy of your home inventory log:
- Film footage of your home and its contents as you move throughout the property. When doing this, make sure to audibly and clearly describe the items you see.
- When possible, make note of brand names – especially when listing big-ticket items in your inventory.
- Save your visual inventory (whether video or photo) in a secure location – and make sure you save a backup copy of this inventory on an external hard drive.
However you choose to make a record of your possessions, make sure to do it safely and securely – and remember that if you need additional security precautions to help keep you and your valuables safe, Smart Digital is here when you need help.