home disaster checklist

Making a Home Inventory

Don’t wait for a disaster to occur before you make your home inventory. If something happens to your home, it is important to have a list of expensive and important items in your home in case they need to be replaced by your homeowners or renters insurance. The personal property coverage portion of your insurance can help you replace personal items in your home. However, before the insurance will replace items in your home, you will need to prove what items you owned and their value.

Include Big Ticket Items

Any big ticket items should be included in your inventory list.  Take pictures of the items and either save or take pictures of the receipts as well.  Be sure to include these major items on your inventory list:

  • TVs
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Gaming Consoles
  • Jewelry
  • Major Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Collections
  • Musical Instruments
  • Cameras
  • Firearms

Value Your Items

In order for the insurance to replace the items, you need to have an idea of their value.  If you do this before disaster strikes, or as large items are purchased, it will be much easier to keep track.  It is a good idea to:

  • Save Receipts. Save receipts for big ticket items to show proof of your ownership and their value.  Some receipts are printed on paper that fade so either take a picture of the receipt or scan it into your computer.  
  • Take Pictures. Taking pictures is another way to show proof of your ownership.  It is a good idea to not only take pictures of big ticket items around your home, but also pictures of each room in the house.  This will help you with inventory of smaller ticket items too.  

Take care of how you store your inventory list.  If you only keep a printed copy, or one on your computer, it may get ruined during a disaster.  Consider saving a version on a cloud based service so that you can access it even if your home or computer is destroyed.  

Insurance Determination of Value

Ultimately, your insurance company will give the final determination of the value of your belongings.  There are three ways that the value might be considered.

  • Actual Cash Value. This is the items purchase cost minus depreciation.  
  • Replacement Cost Value. This is the price it would cost to buy the items new and will result in a higher claim amount.
  • Appraised Value. For one of a kind items or antiques, it is a good idea to have them appraised.  The insurance company can then replace them at the appraised value.  

Read your policy to determine how your insurance will value your belongings.

Personal Property Coverage

Homeowners and renters insurance place value amounts in the different categories of valuables.  There may be a limit to how much they will cover different items such as jewelry.  If you have a limit of $2,000.00 for jewelry, but you own jewelry worth more than that, you might consider getting a policy that covers just your jewelry.  

When Disaster Strikes

Call Tobin Cleaning and Restoration when you have a disaster.  We can help you clean up and restore your home after a fire, flood, storm or other natural disaster.  We work with most insurance companies and can help you put your home back together.

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