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Home Inventory

Keep track of what you own so you can replace it!
After a fire or other disaster, to get reimbursed for your property by the insurance company, you need to give them a list of everything you lost and how much it was worth.

If you do a home inventory then you'll be able to give the insurance company a full, accurate list. A home inventory is basically a detailed list of everything you own.

Here are some tips on doing a home inventory:

1. Make a list and check it twice
Make a list of everything in your house that you would want to replace after a fire. The list should contain:

  • The name of the item and a quick description (such as: eight dinner dishes, long couch, diamond engagement ring, Schwinn 10-speed bicycle, Sony stereo). If any of the items are especially valuable, include a longer description. For clothes, just count the number of shirts, dresses, suits, shoes, etc., each person in the house owns (and make special notes about any extra valuable items).
  • Where and when you bought it (if you know).
  • How much it cost (if you still have the receipts, staple them to the list at the end).
  • Serial numbers and brand for any major appliances or electronic equipment (refrigerators, stereo, etc.). You can usually find the serial numbers on the back of the appliance.

2. Take pictures or a video
If you have a camera (or even better a video or digital camera), take pictures of your most valuable items. Store these pictures with your list.

3. Go room by room
Making a list of everything you own can seem like such a big task that a lot of people never get started. If you find this happening, don't try to do everything at once. Instead, work on one room a week. In just a few weeks, your inventory will be finished.

4. Keep the list updated
Every year, make sure you add any new items you've bought to your list.

5. Don't keep the list in your home. Store it somewhere else!
Your list won't do you any good if it burns in the fire as well. So make sure you keep it somewhere else, like at a family member or friend's house or a safety deposit box at a bank.

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