A home inventory is a critical part of filing an insurance claim if items are stolen from your home or damaged in an incident covered by your insurance. The inventory helps prove that you owned certain items and also helps your insurance agent determine the worth of your lost or damaged items, which directly affects how much your insurance company is willing to pay to replace these items. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not have an inventory of possessions, and of those who do, many do not have photographs of their possessions or a backup copy of their inventory.
If you are among the Americans who do not have an inventory of their possessions, don't worry. Modern technology makes creating a home inventory simple, fast, and effective. Follow these tips to use technology to make a home inventory as soon as possible.
Software creation has exploded in recent years with dedicated applications being made for almost every use imaginable. If you have not started an inventory yet, then you might look into computer, phone, or tablet apps that will make the job easier. Many insurance companies offer apps to their clients that are sure to include the specific details each company needs to fulfill a claim.
Even if you do not find a dedicated app for home inventories that you like, you may want to use a note-taking app that allows you to upload photos and write a description of them. An ideal app will allow you to upload a photo of each item along with a description, estimated value or receipt, and which room the item is kept in.
Video Recording and Photographs
Making a video or photo inventory of your belongings is easier than ever. A video inventory is often the quickest way to complete your inventory because you can simply walk through your home while recording a video and describing the items in each room. Most smartphones offer decent video quality that will allow you to do this. However, you might want to include pictures of items that are worth a large amount of money.
While your video or photo inventory does not need to be artistically beautiful, it is still important that the items in it are clear. For that reason, it is important to do your inventory on a clear day, with your windows uncovered to let in as much natural light as possible. You may need to create additional artificial lighting in some areas of your home, such as your attic or basement.
You should always have a backup of your inventory that is not at your home in case of severe home damage that does not allow you to access your inventory. Luckily, storing things online is easier than ever. You can backup your inventory directly to the storage provided by the app you are using or you can email yourself a copy or store it in another form of online document storage.
Saving receipts can get tedious. While the original receipt is always a good thing to have, you should also scan or closely photograph your receipts and save these files with photographs of the items that you bought. This will keep your inventory easy to search, and you will always be able to access a copy of your original receipt.
Online Shopping to Help Estimate the Value of Items
You may no longer have the receipt for items that you purchased before you started your inventory. Luckily, online shopping makes estimating a price for these items much easier than it used to be. While you are going through your belongings, make a note of items you need to look up because they are valuable but you no longer have a receipt. Then, look up these items in online stores or through online auctions to get an idea of how much they are worth. Make a note of the average price of the item along with a few links to where the item is being sold.
Technology should make creating a full inventory of your belongings easy and quick. Having an inventory not only helps you with insurance claims, but it also can help insurance agents inform you of items that may need additional coverage.
For more information, contact a company like Harris Insurance Services.