Keeping Track of Your Stuff
To select the right amount of Texas homeowners insurance, you will need to conduct a home inventory. It is basically a record of all the possessions you have in your house and their value. It serves several purposes. For one, the list helps you choose the right amount of protection for your needs. Secondly, if your dwelling ever suffered a devastating loss, you would have a record of all the items that need replaced. Having the list handy will make the claims process much faster. Finally, it also serves as proof to your insurer that you actually own the items included in a claim.
Here are a few tips on creating an effective inventory for insurance purposes:
- The sooner, the better. The easiest time to start is when you first move into your house. This way, you can make note of each item as you unpack. If you've lived in a house for many years, creating a list is still possible, but it's much more difficult. Ideally, you should also create it before you purchase coverage to estimate your needs.
- Develop a method. The old-fashioned way of making one is to record the name, quantity, and serial numbers (if applicable) of every item in your home on a paper list or in a word-processing document. However, this method requires a great deal of work and is not as efficient as more technologically savvy methods. For instance, many people choose to record it on video. Not only is this method easier, but it is also more convincing proof to the provider that you actually own the things you claim. Alternatively, you can also conduct it with photographs.
- Give special attention to high-dollar items. If you have high-dollar items like collectibles or jewelry in your house, a standard policy may not fully cover them. Make note of these items and present a detailed description of them to your agent to verify that you have adequate protection. In some cases, your agent may require an appraisal of the items before they can be insured.
- Consider using a computer software program. Most personal finance software programs include an option that allows consumers to complete a home inventory on a room-by-room basis. This will break the task into smaller chunks and help you keep your work organized.
- Make copies of your inventory and store it in a safe place. You'll want to keep at least one copy of your list or video on hand in your dwelling. The other copies of your list, photographs, and/or video should be stored in a safe place outside of your house. For example, you might give a copy to your agent or place a copy in a safe-deposit box or family member's home.