Having home insurance is one of those important costs you need to budget for in homeownership. But when it comes time to invest in home insurance or make a claim on your insurance, it’s really important to understand the value of your possessions. This is why creating a detailed inventory of the things in your home, is a task you should take seriously.
A thorough inventory of your home’s contents and the associated value of the contents will help you and your insurance representative confirm adequate coverage. If you need to make a claim, your home inventory will help you receive proper compensation. During spring cleaning as well as before a move are ideal times to prepare or update your home inventory list. When you increase the value of your home through a renovation or purchase expensive furniture, art, jewellery or other valuable items, notify your insurance professional. [Insurance Bureau of Canada]
Here are some tips for valuing your possessions:
- Keep receipts for any possessions of worthwhile value.
- In addition to receipts, keep warranties and manuals for your more valuable possessions (these can serve as proof of ownership in the future as well).
- It’s a good idea to take photos or video evidence of your most valuable possessions.
- Keep receipts and your personal inventory in a safe place (like a safe or safety deposit box), and review the information each year. The value of most items changes over time so you’ll want to make adjustments on a yearly basis.
- Review your inventory every year, and when you make major purchases.
- Take photos or videos of your most valuable possessions.
Here are some tips for taking an inventory:
- Breakdown your inventory by room: living room, master bedroom, etc.
- For each possession, list: how many, description, cost to replace and the serial model number.
- List all possessions of worthwhile value in each room. For example, in the living room list everything from electronics, decor items, paintings/art, DVDs, furniture, etc.
Here is a sample inventory list for your living room:
- Blu-Ray/DVD players
- Home theatre: speakers, etc.
- Musical instruments
- Video game console
- Video games
If you’re looking for a comprehensive checklist that you can print off and use for your own inventory, you can download one here from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.