Most of us would be hard pressed to remember what we had for breakfast yesterday, much less recite the entire contents of our homes from memory—or declare each item’s monetary value and when we purchased it. But believe it or not, this is a standard requirement of home insurance policies if you have to claim major losses due to a fire, burglary, or some other covered event. Not all homeowner policies will require you to pony up with serial numbers and receipts, but you will have to provide as much detail as possible. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for that.
- Make a home inventory. If there was ever a daunting task, this is it. But it can be done, especially if you lay your focus only on high priced items or irreplaceable belongings like family heirlooms. Take a single room at a time and write everything down including makes, models, serial numbers, dimensions and monetary value.
- Save your receipts. This doesn’t mean you have to store a paper record of every DVD or carton of eggs you buy, but it does mean that you should keep receipts for every high ticket item you buy in a safe place.
- Find a safe place. This ties in directly with saving your receipts and making a home inventory. If you don’t store this information someplace where it’s likely to stay out of harm’s way, you could end up losing this as well. Consider investing in a fire-proof safe, obtaining a safety deposit box, or even uploading soft copies of everything to an online storage server that’ll remain accessible to you even if your entire home is destroyed.