We always want to be prepared in the event a disaster strikes our home, whether it's a fire, flood, burglary, or other major event. But if your home and possessions are lost or stolen, how well would you be able to remember all of your assets and their value for insurance purposes? The reality is that people greatly underestimate how many possessions they actually have, as well as their overall value, particularly after the trauma of a disaster when they are relying strictly on their memory. In today's Aegis blog post, we discuss the merits of creating a detailed property inventory and how to do so properly.
What Is A Property Inventory?
An asset inventory is simply a detailed written listing of all personal property, whether inside the dwelling, outside the home, or offsite in a storage unit or safety deposit box. An inventory of personal property benefits individuals and families of all sizes, whether they are living in a single-family home or a rental property. A thorough asset inventory can mean the difference between a meager insurance reimbursement versus a larger payout that can go farther in replacing everything that was damaged or stolen.
The key to creating a thorough and effective asset inventory is to be as detailed as possible in all areas of the home or apartment. You can begin by detailing newer purchases first, since these are more likely to have receipts or proof of payment. In addition to receipts, you should also include serial numbers for electronics and other big-ticket items. Certain categories, such as clothing, shoes, or linens, can be condensed into total numbers to help expedite the process. All other items should list a general description, such as the make and model, where it was purchased, and the price paid. Rare or collectible items that have appreciated in value may require more detailed information to ensure their value in case of loss.
Document Everything Digitally
When creating an asset inventory, individuals and families should consider utilizing technology to help document assets and their location to help with any future claims. Photos or digital videos can be essential in documenting all personal property, since they can scan entire rooms and also capture details of specific areas, heirlooms and artwork, or expensive electronics. In addition, digital photos and videos can be uploaded to off-site cloud-based servers so they are easily accessed from any location, and are not easily lost or damaged.
Update On A Regular Basis
Finally, an asset inventory should be updated on a regular basis to reflect new purchases, upgrades, or items that have been thrown out or donated. Storing an inventory spreadsheet online can make it easier to make updates and changes when needed, in addition to updating videos and photos. Some may find it easier to update written inventories, video, and photos after the holidays when new gifts or purchases may need to be added to the inventory. Also, it may be prudent to keep copies of your asset inventory with a relative or trusted friend to ensure immediate access in the event you lose your smartphone, laptop, or other device.
Understanding the scope and value of your assets is an important part of having proper insurance coverage in the event of a major event or disaster. Aegis Insurance & Financial Services can help you assess existing personal insurance needs and get the protection and peace of mind that comes with quality, reliable coverage. Contact our office at 713-850-7622 for more information about our full range of Personal Insurance policies, or fill out our online form to request a free quote!