Arvest Education Center

Inventory Your Belongings

In order to properly protect your belongings, you need to first understand exactly what you own. You probably have a homeowners or renters insurance policy that pays to have your household items replaced if they are stolen, lost or damaged. However, few individuals take the time to adequately prepare an inventory of those items. If there is a fire, flood or theft, having an inventory is essential in submitting a complete and accurate insurance claim.

One of the easiest ways to prepare a record of your belongings is to take a video camera and slowly walk through your home and describe each item you see. You can also prepare a written listing. Be sure to include items in your closets, basement and garage. You will probably be surprised to learn just how many items you have. 

Include items covered under your insurance policy, but that may be located outside of your home. This could include items kept in storage or items a child has while at college.

If you are going to prepare a video listing, describe each item. Include information on when you bought the item, how much it cost and maybe even where you bought it. For appliances or electronic equipment, you should note the model number and any serial numbers. Having that information can help justify your claim.

Preparing a written listing may take more time and effort, but can be just as valuable.  Just write down all the information, and for special items, you may want to take photographs.

Be sure to store the record of your belongings somewhere that is safe and accessible if disaster strikes. Keeping the record in a safe deposit box, at work or with a trusted relative assures the records will be available if your home is destroyed.

Make sure to update your inventory on a regular basis. Hopefully you will never have to use your inventory. But if disaster strikes, you’ll be glad you took the time to make a record of your possessions.

This content has been provided by Financial Wisdom and is intended to serve as a general guideline.