In our last post we talked about how we not always know the “stuff” we have and need to insure. Therefore we do not know whether or not we have enough insurance coverage to protect and replace its value if something happens. But, How do we make the Home Inventory?
Recently the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) designed a free iPhone® application named myHOME Scr.APP.book that lets users quickly photograph and capture images, descriptions, bar codes and serial numbers, and then stores them electronically for safekeeping. The app organizes information room by room, and even creates a back-up file for e-mail sharing. The NAIC also recommends us 10 important steps to complete your inventory:
- Make a list of possessions, including ‘celebration’ purchases such as jewelry and fine art.
- Think about family heirlooms, collections and furniture. Also consider items related to everyday leisure time, from flat-screen televisions to custom guitars.
- Take note of commonplace items such as toys, CDs and clothing. And do not forget items you may only use occasionally such as holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools and high-ticket items kept outside your home such as landscape art and swing sets.
- Attach copies of original sales receipts and/or appraisal documents to your inventory. Be sure to note model and serial numbers.
- Group your possessions into logical categories, i.e., by hobby, by room in your home.
- Carefully photograph or videotape each item and document a brief description including age, purchase price and estimated current value.
- Remember to open drawers and closets to document what’s inside.
- Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily accessible place such as a secured site/file online, a fire-proof box or in a safe deposit box. You may want to share a copy with your insurance provider so he or she can make necessary updates to your coverage.
- Review and update your inventory annually and whenever you make a significant purchase.
- To get started, download the free myHOME Scr.APP.book app for iPhone® users by visiting the iTunes® App Store or searching ‘NAIC’ in the app store from your phone. Or go to www.insureuonline.org to print a simple home inventory checklist.