April is National Home Inventory Month and here is why $87,526 should push this task to the top of your To-Do-List.
The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) has designated the month of April as National Home Inventory Month.
With sunshine and warmer weather on the horizon, tackling the To-Do-List of outside projects and spring cleaning endeavors are starting to rise to the top of everyone's minds.
This is why April is the perfect month to establish awareness and education around the concept of a Home Inventory.
With being stuck indoors all winter, (for some the whole year in 2020) you have likely scrolled through stories on the internet or binged your favorite Netlix show about how to declutter, organize your life or take on a minimalist lifestyle. A Home Inventory fits perfectly into these concepts.
What is a Home Inventory and Why Do I Need One?
Imagine taking the roof off of your home, turning it upside down and watching everything you own fall to the ground.
The contents that are now scattered all over your lawn for the neighbors to see are what's known in the insurance world as your Personal Property, and a Home Inventory helps you protect that personal property.
A home inventory is actually a pretty simple concept. It is a detailed record of all of the possessions that are within your home.
You may be thinking,
"I just don't have that much stuff in my home to worry about having a detailed record of it. I already have insurance coverage protecting my possessions."
Well, you would be surprised at how fast the value of your personal property ads up!
And, are you willing potentially throw away hundreds or even thousands of dollars that you are entitled to in your insurance policy?
Of course not.
But, that is exactly what you are doing every single day that you go without a home inventory to compliment your homeowner’s insurance.
Don't Leave Money on the Table
The average Homeowner's Insurance Policy typically schedules your Personal Property Coverage for about 20-50% of the amount that protects the actual structure of your home. This means that the what your Insurance Agent recommends in personal property coverage may be way more, or way less, than what you actually need.
Your Insurance Company is flying blind whenever you sign up for coverage or need file a claim to your scheduled personal property. They have no idea as to the quantity, value or condition of the personal contents and valuables within your home. This is why the insurance company sends out an adjuster to quantify, value and offer a settlement during an insurance claim.
A 2013-2017 Study from the Insurance Information Institute shows that:
60% of homes in the US are underinsured
Around half of homeowners don’t have a home inventory
The average settlement amount from a homeowner’s insurance claim was just $12,474!
For the sake of simplicity, lets pretend that your insurance schedules you for $100,000 worth of personal property coverage. You suffer a devastating fire, go through a painful insurance claim process by relying on your memory rather than a home inventory and then your insurance cuts you a check for that average of $12,474 to replace everything you lost.
I cant imagine that you'd be OK losing out on the other $87,526 that was available to you within your insurance policy to help you restore life to the way it was before the fire. But without a Home Inventory to provide you proof and documentation, this is the exact position most homeowner's would find themselves in.
Your insurance company is not simply going to write you a check if you experience losses due to a fire, natural disaster or theft. But sadly, that is what many people believe or even expect.
It's a Contract!
Many everyday homeowners may not realize that when they sign up for a homeowner's policy, they are really entering into a contract with that Insurance Company. And, like any other contract, if you do not fulfill your part of the bargain you could lose out on the money that you're policy entitles you to.
If you need to file an insurance claim, your contract states that you must prove that you owned what you are claiming you lost.
Here's how my insurance contract describes the responsibilities I have in the claims process after a loss to my "Scheduled Personal Property":
Give us a detailed list of the damaged property, showing quantities, when and where acquired, original cost, current value and the amount of loss claimed.
Show us the damaged property before repairs/replacement
Provide us with records and documents, allow us to make copies.
Submit to us, within 60 days after we request, your signed and sworn proof of loss.
Having a home inventory helps you to fulfill your part of the contract within your homeowner's or renters policy. It's your best defense against a loss, an exceptional memory tool, and your guide to maximizing the financial reimbursement from your insurance company.
Everything you have in your home represents a dollar amount that your homeowner's insurance was designed to help you protect.
Your insurance company WILL pay you for your losses. But its up to you to take the right steps to secure the money that's available to you within your policy.
How Do I Create a Home Inventory?
I know exactly what you're thinking. " Do you know how much stuff I have? It will take me years to document everything."
Look, I'm not advocating, or even expect, that you get this done in one day or even one week, that's pretty unreasonable. Even as a Certified Inventory Specialist, it can take me up to a week to inventory, process, categorize and produce an inventory report for a client.
But you need to start somewhere. And photos are a great place to start. Whether you have a smartphone camera, or a really nice DSLR, take some time to capture photos or video of the stuff in your home.
Walk through each room and visually capture what is in those rooms as it would appear on "any given day."
A Proper Home Inventory Should Include:
A comprehensive list of you possessions:
Quantities, Manufacturer, Model and Serial Numbers on each item
Date and Purchase Location of the item.
Item's Value (current and/or purchase price)
Photographs or Videos of your items.
Receipts, Appraisals, Certificates of Authenticity (for large, expensive or rare items)
Most importantly, a home inventory needs to be updated regularly and stored in a safe location!
Is there an easy way to take a Home Inventory?
The answer is YES! You can tackle the task of a Home Inventory by yourself, or hire professionals to complete the most important task on your To-Do-List.
Home Inventory DIY
HomeZada is what we use at Capital View Inventory to create, store and manage home inventories for our clients. But if you have the time, you can certainly use what we use to create your very own Home Inventory!
HomeZada allows you to easily inventory your home's features and personal property with unlimited digital photos, documents, receipts and more. Compare the total value of your inventory with your insurance policy to make sure you are properly covered.
HomeZada is a secure and private platform that helps you manage your home. They invest in many advanced technologies to keep your data safe and secure. Your data is not sold to third parties because they are committed to keeping your property data private.
Home Inventory Professionals
Does the thought of documenting all of your stuff give you a bit of anxiety? Don't worry, there are many professionals who provide documentation services to complete a comprehensive home inventory for you! Capital View Inventory is just one of many Professional Home Inventory Companies that make a home inventory simple and easy for you.
HomeZada also partners with many Home Inventory Professionals to ensure that you have everything you need to make sure that your Home Inventory is complete and contains the information you will need if you find yourself having to file an insurance claim.
Don't wait for a disaster to tell you that you need a Home Inventory. Visit us at capitalviewinventory.com, or visit one of the many links we shared in this article to start on your home inventory today!
Capital View Inventory
Inventory Specialist and Appraisal Examiner certified through the NICA.
Firefighter / Paramedic
With over 10 years of experience in Fire & Emergency Services, I can assure you that fires, natural disasters and life's unfortunate events happen every single day. These events leave a broken path both financially and emotionally, where recovery lasts much longer than it should.
I believe that no one should have to sacrifice so much of their precious time order to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that they can financially recover after a disaster. That's why we create the best personal property inventories to give your family's future the right step forward after the unthinkable happens.
Visit our website at capitalviewinventory.com
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