Taking out household insurance has become more of a necessity than a luxury. However, without a complete household inventory, it’s impossible to know exactly what was stolen or destroyed following a burglary or natural disaster.
In such cases, it’s also likely that your insurance claim will not cover the full value of your itemised losses. The best way to avoid this kind of unpleasant situation is to keep a household inventory. In a nutshell, this is a detailed list of all your personal property at home or in your garage.
Let’s begin, pens ready:
- Pick a room to start with and write down everything in it. This can take hours especially if you are an avid music lover who owns every Greatest Hits CD since 1988.
- It’s a good idea to take photographs of your luxury items such as jewellery, cameras, plasma screens and iPods, etc. Burn the digital photos to DVD or send them to your personal email account, in this way, they’ll be archived in cyberspace forever.
- Collect all your warranties, receipts and insurance policies. Make a list of all your home electronics with make, model and serial numbers.
- Make sure that you include valuable clothing on your inventory list from your Louis Vuitton handbags and Jimmy Choos to leather jackets and formal eveningwear.
- Consider having jewellery appraised if you do not know its value, and be sure to check your policy limits to be certain that all your valuables are covered.
- Search the garage and basement for other items that you may have forgotten like family heirlooms, sports gear and off-season clothing.
- Add the braai, garden furniture and other outdoor items. Be sure to include everything, because even the little things add up.
It’s wise to update your household inventory every six months or if you move home, in order to ensure that you keep track of new or discarded items.