Personal Property Inventory
Homeowners & Renters Personal Property Inventory Form
Create a Personal Property Inventory
If your possessions are stolen or destroyed, your insurance company will ask you to provide a record of them. This is always at the absolute worst time. You’ve just had a fire or a robbery, and you are stressed. The better idea is is to keep your personal property inventory updated throughout the year. AND keep a copy of it in a cloud storage on the WEB. After all what good is an inventory sheet if you house burns and the inventory sheet burns along with it. There are a lot of free services for online document storage. My favorite is DROPBOX or IDriveSYNC .
Details will be important at claim time
Do you know the brand name and serial number of your stereo? Would you recall off the top of your head when and how much you paid for your digital camera? Without a list in front of you for reference, the details of your valuables may be forgotten – which creates more frustration in an already stressful time, and can cost you money in the long run.
That’s why it’s important to have a personal property inventory created ahead of time – before an unfortunate incident.
What is a personal property inventory?
A personal property inventory is a complete list of all your household goods and personal belongings. A complete inventory includes the following information about each item on your inventory list:
- The room in the house where it’s located
- Item description and quantity
- Purchase date
- Place of purchase
- Original cost
- Estimated current value
- Serial and model number
- An accompanying videotape or still photographs of each item
- Receipts and current appraisals for the most valuable items
How does an inventory help you?
No one is fully prepared for a loss, but you can take steps to reduce the stress in the aftermath. A personal property inventory in place before a claim ensures that your claim is filed promptly and completely, which means that you’ll get it settled quickly and accurately, and get your life back to normal.
You can also use an inventory to determine if you have adequate coverage for your possessions. Many people find out after a loss that they were not sufficiently covered, and should have purchased higher coverage amounts or replacement cost coverage. A good rule of thumb is to add up how much it would cost to replace your belongings, and then compare it to your policy’s personal property limit. This is an indicator of whether or not you need to purchase additional coverage.
It’s also a good idea to check the claim settlement methods on your policy. If you’ve purchased replacement cost coverage, your settlement allows you to buy new items to replace the damaged or stolen ones. If you have actual cash value coverage, you receive what your items are worth at the time of the loss – taking into account depreciation.
More helpful tips
Be complete with your inventory. An effective way to do an inventory is to split the area of your house and take one room at a time. Start outside and take views of each side of your house, including the landscaping. Make sure to include all items in a storage shed or garage, like children’s bikes and sporting goods.
Move inside the home and cover one room at a time. You might want to start with artwork or wall hangings and then move onto the floor. Remember to include all high-valued items like antiques, collectibles, silverware and jewelry.
Electronics are a key part of any personal property inventory. TVs, stereos and personal computers should be included, as well as clothing, CDs, tapes, furniture and items inside china cabinets and storage bins.
As you videotape each item, it’s important that you verbally state when each item was purchased, its value, any special features and the model and serial number. If you choose to photograph these items instead of videotaping them, write all pertinent information on the backs of the pictures.
When the inventory is complete
Once you’ve completed the inventory, copy everything including paper lists, videotapes, receipts, computer printouts, appraisals and photos. Store one set in a secure place in your home, and store the other off the premises in a safe deposit box or DROPBOX or IDriveSYNC in the “CLOUD”.
Update your inventory every four to six months to ensure that the information is accurate and reflects all items in the home. Save all the receipts for newly purchased items, and make sure to update your inventory as soon as you make a major purchase and delete the items you no longer have.
Make sure new purchases are added to your policy
If you’ve made a major purchase recently – like the new camera you took on your vacation, make sure that you add it to your insurance. Call your us here at Murphy Insurance to find out what you need to do to make sure your new purchase is covered. This is also a good time to make sure all your insurance coverages are up-to-date and provide adequate coverage for the things you value. Why not take some time now to update your home files with a personal property inventory and get any appraisals you may need?
- If you already have a personal property inventory, make sure recent purchases have been added.
- Take pictures of each room to accompany your inventory.
- Have valuable items like silver or jewelry appraised and store those records in a safe place.
- Make sure you store a set of photographs and copies of your inventory appraisals outside your home (like in a safe deposit box). You may want to leave a copy with a trusted friend or relative or in DROPBOX or IDriveSYNC
- Keep valuable papers and records like stocks bonds, duplicate copies of your will, stamp and coin collections, and jewelry that you don’t wear frequently in safe deposit box.