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Why You Should Take Inventory

Renters Insurance Basics

If you lost all of your belongings today in a fire, would you be able to recall every item you had in your apartment? Could you account for every book, piece of clothing, and knickknack you owned? Chances are, you would forget about the majority of your things, or it would take you an inordinate amount of time to recall the items you did notice were missing. Instead of risking this hassle, you can prepare for disaster by making a home inventory. This is a list of every item in your home and a brief description of each item. When/if you need to file a claim on your renter’s insurance, you can consult your list to make the process easier. Here are the three main reasons why you should maintain an up-to-date home inventory:

  1. Expedite the claims process. Trying to remember each and every item in your apartment after a major loss is a painstaking and time-consuming ordeal. When a disaster strikes, you will want to get your claim filed and settled as quickly as possible so you can restore your belongings and move on with your life. A current home inventory will make the process infinitely smoother, as you will have a prepared document detailing the nature of your losses for your insurer. You won’t have to spend days figuring out what you’re missing, which means you will be reimbursed for your losses sooner.

  2. Document losses for income tax purposes. You can deduct the value of the items you lost on your income taxes, but you must present some verification of the loss. A home inventory is the perfect document to corroborate the claims you make on your tax return.

  3. Purchase the appropriate amount of coverage. Most insurance experts recommend conducting an inventory prior to purchasing renter’s insurance in order to determine the requisite amount of coverage. Several websites offer home inventory worksheets that guide policyholders through the process step by step. Ideally, you should complete the list before you buy coverage, as most consumers have a tendency to underestimate the value of their belongings and thus buy inadequate coverage.