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July 11, 2014

How to Make a Home Inventory

Family in Front of HomeWhen purchasing homeowners insurance, how do you make sure all of your belongings are covered under your policy? It’s time to clear your afternoon and open a fresh spreadsheet! Tedious as it may sound, the only way to accurately estimate the value of your belongings is to make a complete list of them, known as a home inventory.

Take it one room at a time and don’t rush. Write down every item that’s valuable to you, along with a short description, manufacturer/brand information, estimated cost and any other important information such as a serial number. Remember to snap a photo of each item as you add it to your spreadsheet.

You only need to jot down items that you would want replaced. Feel free to skip over that ugly sweater your grandmother bought you last Christmas or that decorative vase that’s been cracked for years.

It helps to organize your spreadsheet by room (you may even wish to color code each room). Add up the estimated value of your belongings by room, which then makes it easy to calculate the overall estimated value of all your belongings.

Once you know the total value, call your independent agent to make sure that your homeowners insurance policy coverage limits reflect as close to that value as you can get. Remember, some high-dollar items—jewelry, electronics, furs, firearms etc.—may have coverage caps, so you’ll need to purchase riders to ensure their protection. You will often need a purchase receipt and/or appraisal before buying a rider.

Store your home inventory in several places for safe keeping, such as on a cloud drive, on a flash drive in a safe deposit box and with your agent. Just like you renew your policy each year, it’s a good idea to update your home inventory each year (or after a large purchase) to ensure that your belongings remain fully protected under the terms of your homeowners insurance.

Need more advice about this process? Call Cloverleaf Insurance at 800-530-5822 for more information on Illinois home insurance.

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