I have a huge passion for contingency planning; I know it’s a weird thing to be “passionate” about. It started when I was in university; I completed my undergraduate thesis on Contingency Planning in Sport. I poured an entire year to completing this project and applied the knowledge I gained through this study to my career as a professional triathlete. I had a plan for everything; a backup for everything. Now as a professional organizer, I’m finding this same passion is beginning to take form again. It started with a strong desire to share my knowledge for organizing your most important documentation, which you can read more about it here.
In this article my friend and colleague, Michael Singh with Singh Insurance Group, shared his expertise the importance of insurance. He discussed home owners insurance and how important it is to have a home inventory: "Some people simply take a video of all their belongings with pictures and document the receipts to show how much they paid for a certain item. If you have high value items such as jewelry or art, on a standard home policy they would have to be scheduled in order to be insured. It’s also a good idea to review your home insurance policy to see how your personal property is insured. Is it insured on ACV (actual cash value) or RC (replacement cost)? It is better to insure your personal items on replacement cost so that the insurance company will not take into consideration depreciation. Furthermore, standard insurance policies ISO, cover your personal items on a named peril basis, you may want to add the “special personal property” endorsement to broaden the policy language."
I realized that my own home inventory was very out of date and desperately needed to be updated. You may be asking yourself, what the heck is a home inventory?! Then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s break it down.
A home inventory is a detailed list of all the possessions in your home.
You can be extremely detailed if you own very expensive, rare or irreplaceable items, or you may choose to less detailed and cover broader categories. At the very least, once a year you should be taking photos of every space in your home. You may also choose to take a video which can be easier and faster. Be sure to back these up in a secure location. I personally take photos and then ensure my home inventory is up to date. Any large purchases should be updated on your home inventory. For example, if you purchase a new big screen TV you should update that in your home inventory list. If you'd like to be extra prepared, save a copy of the receipt as well. Getting your home inventory list created is the most time-consuming part of this project, so I did the hard work for you! Download the free excel spread sheet below and fill it out. I’ve included some common home inventory items but feel free to edit it to suit your needs.
Micheal Singh, from Singh Insurance explains, "To ensure you don’t forget to do this on an annual basis, but sure to set a reminder in your phone, or even paper calendar. If you were to incur a loss, your ability to submit a claim to your insurance will be much more seamless!"
Dealing with any loss of possessions, whether a natural disaster, accident or theft is stressful on its own. Make your life much easier and ensure you have an accurate and up to date home inventory as well as the right policy for you.