Own a Home? Make Sure You’ve Done This!

woman looking at a camera near her computer

If something disastrous happened to your stuff -- fire, theft, full-scale zombie apocalypse (okay, maybe not that) -- would you have any idea how to start the recovery process? If you have home insurance (and you should!), it begins with taking inventory of what you’ve lost. (Well, it begins with breathing into a paper bag, but taking inventory comes next.)

Providing your insurance company with a list of lost or destroyed property can be easy enough if it’s just a few things, but in the event of a true catastrophe, you’ll thank yourself if you already have a complete inventory of each and every item you hope to be compensated for. Yes, it can take some time to do, but it’s essential task for homeowners.  Here are some tips to make it easier to take inventory:


Document everything. In the olden days, you might have kept track of your belongings on paper or in a text file, but now you can now make an inventory that includes photos of your stuff. Let technology work for you! The Allstate Digital Locker application is a great free tool that helps you record and organize your possessions right from your phone (and you can also access it from your computer). Even if your devices are damaged, lost, or stolen, you’ll still be able to access the information stored in your Digital Locker.

Be specific. As you document your things, don’t skimp on the details. Record serial numbers on electronics and distinctive marks on musical instruments or other unique items. Taking this step can help you reclaim your stolen items in the event they are recovered after a theft. 

Keep it organized. If your inventory is long, you’ll need a system. Organize your photos either by category or room, and tag the photos with key words that will help you find what you need in a snap. The sooner you can file an insurance claim, the sooner you might have the money to replace the item.

Make updates. If you can’t commit to reviewing and revising your inventory on a regular schedule, at least update it after every major purchase. Staying on top of the task will keep it from looming like a chore you will procrastinate forever. As you add new items, include the date purchased and the cost, both of which can help take the guesswork out of filing insurance claims.

How did you inventory the contents of your home?

For more information about protecting your possessions, check out Allstate’s guide to home insurance.


Image ©iStock.com/nensuria

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