Why Spring Is The Perfect Time To Complete A Home Inventory

Why Spring Is The Perfect Time To Complete A Home Inventory

Why Spring Is The Perfect Time To Complete A Home Inventory

As the weather continues to become warmer, the days longer, and the grass slowly greener, there is a good chance you are beginning to plan for your annual spring cleanup. And while removing the cobwebs from your outdoor furniture, washing windows and mopping floors is not the most exciting way to spend your time, just remember how good it will feel once you declutter the mud room, clean out the garage, and power wash the porch. But why stop there! The friendly team at ICNE, Insurance Center of New England, is challenging our clients to include a home inventory as part of their spring cleaning routine this year. Are you up for the task?

Photo of a woman completing her home inventory checklist for 2018We know what you might be thinking, “just another to-do to add to my list”, but the truth is completing an inventory isn’t as daunting a task as you may think. An accurate home inventory can be as simple as grabbing a pen, printing out our easy-to-use Home Inventory List, taking a quick tour of your freshly organized home, jotting down all your belongings, and storing your receipts neatly in a safety deposit box or fire safe storage container. For those of you who prefer something a bit more high-tech, all you’ll need is a smartphone with a camera to record your belongings, noting their exact whereabouts and purchase price.

Don’t Do Tomorrow What You Can Do Today

While we don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future, we will go out on a limb and say that at some point in your life, you will likely need a list of all your belongings, so why not act now and check this critical to-do off your list. In case we haven’t convinced you, below are three very common situations when a completed and current home inventory list would be very helpful to have.

  1. Purchasing or Renewing Your Homeowners’ Policy. Having an accurate and up-to-date list of your belongings on hand can help you and your insurance agent determine how much coverage you need on your homeowners’ or renters policy. Think about it, the only way to ensure you have adequate coverage for all your personal property is to know exactly what you have!
  2. Filing an Insurance Claim. In the event of damage or loss, eliminating the guesswork from the claims process is crucial to saving you time and money. An accurate inventory list and proof of ownership will not only make the insurance claim process easier and faster, it also provides you with a shopping list to help you rebuild your home.
  3. Validating Loss for Tax Relief or Financial Assistance. While we never want to think about a catastrophe happening at home, in the event of a disastrous loss, you may be eligible for some financial assistance. Having an organized home inventory list handy will be helpful in a stressful situation such as this.

If you’re ready to take stock of your stuff, you’ll be happy to know that the trusted team at ICNE put their heads together and created an easy-to-use Home Inventory List to help you start cataloging your belongings today. However, before you put pen to paper or hit the record button on your iPhone, take a second to read through our tips and best practices:

  • Start with new purchases and then add your older items
  • The more specific you are the better; be sure to include make, model and serial number when appropriate
  • Keep detailed records, including appraisals, of your antiques, jewelry, major home appliances and collector’s items
  • Properly store paper receipts or keep electronic copies of invoices for your high-value items in case proof of ownership is required
  • When photographing or videotaping each room in your home, be sure to look inside all closets, storage buildings, as well as the attic, garage and shed. Don’t forget to open drawers and note the contents within. You should then save and date when you took the footage
  • It’s important not to overlook anything, including those items you use once or twice a year, such as holiday decorations, sports equipment and tools

Once your home inventory is complete, consider the following storage methods for safe keeping:

  • Store a paper copy in a safety deposit box or fireproof container
  • Give a copy to a trusted family member or friend who doesn’t live in your home
  • File a copy with your insurance agent immediately
  • Save an electronic version in your personal email inbox or keep a copy in cloud storage for easy access in the future from any device

While we hope you’ll never need your home inventory list because of damage or loss, preparing for the worst-case scenario now can eliminate a good deal of stress later on. If you have any questions on the home inventory process, need assistance filing a claim or looking for a more personal relationship with a trusted insurance agent, give ICNE a call today at (800) 243-8134 or stop into any one of our three convenient Massachusetts locations.

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