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The Benefit of a Household Inventory - Part 2

by The Jana Caudill Team

The best way to go about documenting your household inventory is to go room to room, writing down all your property in each location, its cost when purchased, year purchased, and current value.  You may not have all that information readily at hand.  That’s alright.  Just be sure to complete the list to the best of your abilities without exaggerating values.  I know this sounds like an incredibly daunting task, but if you take your time and only tackle one room at a time, say one room every Saturday morning until complete, you’re less likely to become overwhelmed, and more likely to be prepared if the worst ever happens.  Don’t forget basements, storage buildings, and the garage. 

Here’s a tip:  Use a video camera.  Take your handheld video recorder, and once again walk room to room filming the contents of your home.  This is in addition to your written list, not in place of it.  For the video you do not need to cover every individual item, just scan the room making sure you get footage inside closet spaces, jewelry boxes, and capture shots of all computer and other electronic equipment.  Narrate as you go, explaining what things are, so you have audio to go with your video.  Here are some inexpensive video recorders that are great for this task: Kodak Zi8, Flip, Sony.

It’s heartbreaking when any of our Northwest Indiana neighbors fall victim to catastrophe.  If you suffer a loss resulting from a fire, for example, that is not covered by your insurance there is still some relief possible through the government.  There’s helpful information in IRS publication 2194 titled “Disaster Losses Kit for Individuals” here which explains potential tax benefits available for people who suffer a loss that is uninsured.  This short article explains the basics as well, and again, I advise you to speak to your professional tax preparer and insurance agent to explore your current situation.

The Benefit of a Household Inventory - Part 1

by The Jana Caudill Team

If you haven’t already done so you might consider completing a household inventory of your family’s possessions.  The obvious reason is its aid in filing an insurance claim for a loss of property.  In the case of a fire, theft, flood, hurricane or any other event casualty that takes or otherwise destroys your personal property this list can help you in the process of getting reimbursement through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, and if you ever have the misfortune of having to pick up the pieces after one of these disasters it can make the road to recovery somewhat smoother.  It’s a daunting task for sure, but compared to going back after losing everything and trying to reconstruct a list of the contents of every room, it is time well spent.

Here are the basics:  The first thing you need to do is speak with your insurance agent and be sure you fully understand what your current policy covers.  Second, fill out the complete inventory sheet of all your possessions.  Third, compare the current value of your possessions to your existing coverage.  You may discover previously unknown gaps in your coverage, or that you have too little or too much coverage compared to the total value of your possessions.  And lastly, take your list and store it somewhere safely outside your home!  Put it in a safe deposit box, or take a copy to stick in your drawer at the office.  Just don’t leave it at home.  Don’t go through the trouble of completing this very necessary exercise only to lose your list along with your possessions in a fire.

Please visit my website for more home buyer and home seller tips, and tune in next week for Part 2 of “The Benefit of a Household Inventory” to find additional tips to make the completion of your inventory faster and easier AND information on potential tax relief relating to property loss not covered by your policy.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

Contact Information

Photo of The Jana Caudill Team Real Estate
The Jana Caudill Team
Redkey Realty Leaders
503 East Summit St., Suite 2
Crown Point IN 46307
219-661-1256
Fax: 219-663-5949