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How to Protect Your Home (and Not Break Your Budget) Series
This 4-week series is a must for every homeowner. Once you buy a home, it’s now all your responsibility! But are you truly prepared for the unexpected? This series is a great overview on what you need to know when it comes to getting homeowner’s insurance, keeping your home safe and secure, and avoiding costly mistakes when protecting your home.
This week you’ll learn why keeping an itemized list of your home’s contents is a HUGE help when you need to make an insurance claim.
No one wants their home damaged or destroyed by fire or flooding. Or have treasured items stolen from them. It’s devastating to even think about it.
That’s why you – like all homeowners — rely on insurance coverage to help cover the cost to rebuild your home and replace your belongings. Having it gives you some comfort and relief, right?
But even good insurance is only as good as the records YOU keep!
Your insurance company can only be as helpful to you as you are to them. It’s a simple fact, and that’s why you need to take inventory of your belongings.
Why It Matters
Take a look around your home and most likely it’s filled with many different items, some worth more than others, some more precious to you, and some just part of your day-to-day life.
But if you add them all up, the value of your belongings could be quite high. Are you covered for that? What happens when you need to make a claim and prove the value?
Taking an inventory of all of you items throughout your home:
- It gives you a better idea of how much coverage you actually need, and
- It can help verify the value of your belongings when you file a claim, and even facilitate the process.
Because you can provide both visual and documented proof, your inventory can significantly aid the claims process.
Getting It Right … and Making It Easy
A home inventory is exactly as it sounds. Pulling together a detailed list of items in your home … furniture, fixtures, paintings, jewelry, appliances, electronics, etc. And also making sure you take a picture and include a description, serial number, model, purchase date, and estimated value (include any receipts) for each item.
Taking pictures and making a detailed list sounds difficult and overwhelming, doesn’t it? And on top of that, where do you keep these records so that they aren’t also destroyed if your home is?
It actually can be quite simple with one of the online options out there.
Begin by contacting your insurance company to see if it provides or recommends an inventory app. If you ever need to file a claim, this could save you time.
You can also look for other options in your app store. But before downloading any home inventory app, make sure to read the reviews.
Make sure that any app you pick allows you to export lists and information so that you don’t lose everything if the company stops producing the product or app.
If this type of record keeping doesn’t work for you, you can always take the time to save your photos and lists on a safe online system like Dropbox or iCloud that can be accessed anywhere. Some people even like to take a video of their home and walk from room to room to document their stuff. Again, easy to save online.
No matter what system you choose, the most important thing is that you’re organized and prepared if something happens to your home.
Keep It Safe
Never store your inventory list at home where it can be damaged. That’s why online programs are a great way to keep your itemized lists and pictures safe and accessible when there is an emergency. Digital records can be stored in Dropbox or iCloud. And, if you still need a paper back-up, save those documents in a safe deposit box or secured place outside of your home.
Next week in this 4-week series, How to Protect Your Home (And Not Break Your Budget), you’ll find out why you just may need flood insurance for your home. You might be surprised by why it’s critical to get this added protection.
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