Many people go through their lives never having something awful happen, unprepared for an emergency that could be just around the corner. This is why, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissions (NAIC), “70% of homeowners do not have a home inventory”. This is a staggering number. So much so that many don’t ever consider having an inventory.
The reason may be because most people don’t really understand what a home inventory it and why they might need one. According to the Today’s Homeowner, “a home inventory is a comprehensive report which includes detailed descriptions and photos of the personal property in and around your home”. Think of it as another form of insurance. The time to think about getting one is before you actually need one.
Here’s a few reasons why you should consider having a home inventory.
- To protect your investments – Before insuring your personal belongings, it would be wise to contact a professional to do an accurate home inventory. This will you a detailed list of what you own, so that you can get sufficient coverage. Knowing that you the right amount of coverage will give you peace of mind should you ever need to file a claim.
- Preserving a family legacy – Over time things of value, be they monetary or sentimental, can get lost as they are passed from generation to generation. With a detailed home inventory you can keep track of what item is where making things a lot easier. The inventory is also very helpful when deciding beneficiary designation.
- Estate planning – Do you want to determine your net worth? Knowing just how much you weigh financially is an important thing for some and a practical thing for others. If that’s the case, having a home inventory is the simplest way to know just how much all of your possessions are worth.
- Moving – Things can sometimes get lost or broken when moving. It may not happen often but it does happen. An inventory is a good way to have some kind of security if this should happen. It helps to get the right amount of insurance. The free insurance most moving companies offer covers next to nothing and you want to make sure you have enough coverage just in case the truck with your all of your stuff just happens to fall into the ocean.
- Legal issues (such as a divorce or an unexpected death) – While no one wants to think about these things, they are sometimes a part of life. It is always better to be legally prepared in such a situation then to drag the already uncomfortable and dismal situation out even further. This way things can be resolved professionally and calmly.
- Peace of mind – According to the Emergency Preparedness Magazine, “only 17% of people were prepared for an emergency”, while the Insurance Institute states that “every state is affected by some form of catastrophe”. That means that the 83% of those that are not prepared will have a hard time of it when an emergency occurs. Having an inventory will let you to sleep better knowing that even if your belongings were lost in a flood/tornado/hurricane/fire/earthquake, you will still know what you lost, how much money you need to cover the damage and whether the insurance will cover it.
The bottom line is you do not want to be one of those people who have the “if only” syndrome which is also called “hindsight”. Do not think about what you should’ve done after a disaster strikes. Think ahead. You do not need to remember everything in your head when you can have a detailed home inventory.