In Part 1, we looked at the basic components that you should use to assemble a comprehensive home inventory. The main purpose of such a list is to provide the necessary documentation, should you need to file a claim against your Homeowners or Renters Insurance Policy.
In the case of a fire, many items may be damaged and need to be replaced. If you’re the victim of theft, there may be only a few items stolen; either way, you need to be able to give your insurance company details about the items lost or damaged. A full home inventory equips you to do just that.
There are many ways you can choose to create and store your home inventory. First, you can go old school and rely on hard copies. Whether you use a handwritten list or print a typewritten catalog and attach photographs, you’ll want to then make sure to keep those items safe — in a bank safe deposit box or a fireproof safe in your home.
Another option would be to store information digitally, via an online tool. Not only is your information stored online, but it’s also easily accessible whenever you need to update your list. When it comes to creating a digital inventory, you could do so on your own and create a list in a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel and then save it to the Cloud. If you’re already familiar with EverNote or OneNote, you may prefer to use one of those platforms, instead. Another option would be Google Docs, and you could easily insert images into the document before storing it. Of course, you could also save any of those file types to a flash drive or memory card and keep that in your safe deposit box or safe, as an extra precaution.
An increasingly popular option in recent years is to use an app designed specifically for the purpose of taking a home inventory. Allstate offers their own app, the Allstate Digital Locker app, which is available for online use or on your iPhone or Android device. However, having to photograph each possession and attach each one individually to your inventory might be a little more work than you bargained for. Because you can update files and upload photos directly from your phone, this option may offer conveniences that outweigh any frustrations.
A similar toolset is offered from the Insurance Information Institute. The Know Your Stuff© app is available online or as an iPhone or Android app. In any platform, it’s pretty simple to use and comes highly recommended from Techlicious.
Whichever route you choose, you may find this list from the Insurance Information Institute helpful in making sure you haven’t forgotten to list anything important.
Whatever method you choose to use for your comprehensive inventory, the most important parts are to have one in place, know where it is, and update it whenever you make a major purchase.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or York Marketplace or call us at (717) 764-2024.
Image credits: Top © Irene Teesalu/Fotolia; 2nd © Fotolia; 3rd © Allstate; 4th © Know Your Stuff/Insurance Information Institute; 5th © Patrizia Tilly/Fotolia