By Erin Huffstetler | 01/12/2019 | 5 Comments
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If something were to happen to your house, would you be able to provide your insurance company with a detailed list of everything you’d lost, along with the receipts, model numbers, serial numbers and photos to back it up? Because if not, your insurance company isn’t likely to pay your claim. And that means all those insurance premiums you’ve been paying will have been for naught.
Protect yourself, and all the things you’ve worked so hard for, by creating a detailed inventory of everything in your house. This is a must for everyone, whether you rent or own your home.
Sound like a big task? It is, but my free, printable home inventory checklist will help you get through it. I created this checklist after a neighbor’s tree fell on our house because I found the free versions that insurance companies provide to be lacking. None of them seem to give you enough space to list your belongings, or to include all the areas in your home that you need to itemize. So, I set out to fix that. The result is this 17-page home inventory checklist. It’s pre-filled with common belongings, and has plenty of space for you to add more.
Go through your home room by room, and document everything you own. Locate the receipts for big-ticket items, and take photos or videos to back up your inventory list. It’s important to capture the contents of each room, but it’s just as important to highlight each room’s unique features. So, if you have built in shelving, high-end finishes or other custom details, be sure to capture those. Should you ever have to file a claim, you’ll need clear proof of what you lost.
Take the time to write down the serial number on your electronics. If your home is ever burglarized, this will help police to identify your stolen property. There’s a column on my home inventory list for this purpose.
If you have a garage, shed or other outbuildings, be sure to document the contents of those, too. And don’t forget to document the contents of your freezer(s) and pantry, if you’re a stockpiler. This will protect you, should you ever suffer a loss due to a power outage.
Printable Home Inventory Checkist
Where to Keep Your Home Inventory Checklist
Make three copies of your home inventory checklist, and store each one in a different location. I recommend storing one at home (either on your computer or in a fire safe), one somewhere off-site (this can be in a safety deposit box or at a trusted friend or family member’s house) and one on the cloud. This will ensure that should your home ever be destroyed, your home inventory list won’t be destroyed with it.
Review Your Insurance Policy and Home Inventory Checklist Often
Once you’ve finished inventorying your home, schedule an appointment with your insurance agent to review your policy, and determine if you still have enough coverage.
Then, be diligent about keeping your home inventory list up to date. Add big-ticket items, as soon as you purchase them; and review your list once a year, to make any necessary updates. If you do this, it shouldn’t take much effort to keep your inventory list current.