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.