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Home Insurance Necessity: How to Take a Home Inventory

In the event of a burglary or other accident, your homeowner's insurance will probably give you money to repurchase your material belongings (for more information on what kind of home insurance is best, read Types of Homeowner's Insurance). In order to get a dime, though, you have to record your valuable belongings before the event, and your home insurance agent must have record.

The best time to take a home inventory is right when you move in. It's much easier when all of your belongings are out and in your thoughts rather than later when they are stuffed away into closets.

Ways to Take a Home Inventory

There are a number of ways you can go about taking a home inventory. Pick whatever suits you. Here are a few options:

Photo inventory:

Grab a camera and start taking pictures of your home and your belongings. Be thorough and pay attention to details such as hardware and fixtures as well as your belongings.

Video inventory:

It seems like every family has a video guru these days. Put him or her to work recording the details around your home. Take advantage of the voice option to add commentary about the items such as the price and where they were purchased.

Written inventory:

Ask your insurance company for a inventory booklet, then go through your house and document everything thoroughly. Note price and where you bought the item.

Software inventory:

Today home inventory software such as SAFE Home Inventory Software is available to help you satisfy your insurance company's requirements easily. Fill-in-the-blank forms, and the ability to export data to your personal-finance programs, makes the process relatively painless.

Suggested Items to Record on Your Home Inventory List

Kitchen/dining room:

table & chairs
cabinets
appliances
dishes & utensils
china cabinet

Living/family room:

electronics, including serial numbers
sofas & chairs
artwork
desks & tables
DVDs, CDs, etc.
lamps & fixtures

Bedrooms:

furniture
electronics
books
jewelry
clothing

Bathroom:

appliances
hamper
linens

Garage/storage:

lawnmower
luggage
furniture
tools
sports equipment 



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