If you flipped your house upside down and everything in it fell out – what would you have? In insurance terms, this is all your “Personal Property.” Have you taken inventory of what you have in your home?
If something were to happen tomorrow – fire, water, lightning strike, tree fell on a house, etc. – would you be able to list the items in the rooms affected? Worse, could you make a list of everything in your home?
Personal Property During a Claim
During a claim, this is most often what would expect from you. Your adjuster and personal contents restoration team would ask you to make a list of items affected or destroyed so then can figure an amount to give you to replace things.
So this got me thinking while unpacking Christmas decorations and repacking them. Each year it is a surprise on what decorations I have. Some years a handful of decorations stay in the box and don’t come out. Then in later years, when it does come out, it is a surprise to me, “Oh, I forgot all about this! Let’s put it on the mantle!”
An experience like this is not what I would want you to have after a claim closes out. Once it’s settled, you can’t reopen it for more financial resources to replace items that were destroyed, and you had forgotten.
“A home inventory is not to prove what you had, but it’s to remember what you had.
Things to Inventory:
- Take a picture of each room of your house getting all 4 walls of the room
- Collections – take a picture of the entire collection: DVDs, kids Hot Wheels collection, Willow Tree Figurines, artwork, board games, shoes, purses, Grandma’s China set, tools, books
- In cabinets
- Open drawers and take pictures of what is in each drawer
- Electronics: Computers, Laptops, entertainment systems, game systems, external hard drives, accessories
Items often forgotten in Inventory:
- How many jeans are in your closet?
- Item in your attic/crawlspace/storage
- How clothes the kids have
- Silverware, pots & pans, other storable kitchen appliances
- Items in the garage or shed
- Linen closet
Storing your inventory
There are several ways to store your home inventory. In this digital era and the cloud holds so much of our information. That is an excellent storage place so you can access it even if your electronics get destroyed in the claim. There are also apps available to use as well.
Latoya Irby, with The Balance, wrote an article in November of 2019 listing The 7 Best Home Inventory Apps of 2020.
Home Inventory Apps
- Sortly – this was considered “Best Overall” and allows you to use folder and subfolders to categorize your items. A bonus here is that it could allow you to print off QR labels if you were moving to put on boxes.
- Memento Database: “Most Versatile,” according to The Balance, could be coming from the ability to search, sort, and filter items afterward the initial inventory you can find what you are looking for.
- Nest Egg: Currently, this app is available on iOS, but it has been recognized for “Most Features.” This app can scan barcodes to retrieve product information automatically. This app isn’t helpful for the current items in your house, but for future purchases.
- My Stuff: This app, too, is only available on iOS and is “Best for Organizing Collections.” It has options to keep track of collectible items across devices to help prevent from buying multiples.
- Magic Home Inventory: The last two have been iOS only, but here is one for Android users. Magic Home is a great resource and recognized as “Best for Multiple Properties.” You can inventory your home, and your rental property in the same app and breakdown not just by the location, but by the room location as well too
- BluePlum Home Inventory: This Mac software is “Best for Remote Management,” and works well across devices syncing automatically, so you have up-to-date information on whichever method you choose.
- Smart Inventory System: This is an app that was created by NonZeroApp and is “Best for Tracking Quantities.” It, too, has QR code capabilities. A bonus of this app is their customizable fields.
Remember, an inventory isn’t for you to prove what you had, but to remember what you had.
There is enough stress during a claim; be ahead of the game and proactive by inventorying your household items at leisure now. It is cold outside no better time to browse through apps and see which you are most comfortable with, or devise your own inventorying system and start working.
As always, we are here as a resource to you. We do offer to our clients being a source of “storage” for your home inventory. If you would want to share your inventory list/pictures with us, it would go into your file and could quickly be pulled up if you were to experience a claim. The organization is up to you, but we will store what you come up with.