Sure, you likely have insurance for the contents of your house as part of your homeowner’s or renter’s policy. But are you confident that everything inside will be covered in the case of a catastrophic disaster, such as a house fire?

That’s one of the cautionary tales that emerged from the aftermath of a recent wildfire that swept through the northern California town of Santa Rosa in 2017. Homeowners there found out that without a complete inventory of all their belongings, they couldn’t receive the full value of their policy. In fact, depending on the insurance carrier, the compensation could be less than half of the stated value on the policy.

The lesson learned: be prepared and be up to date with a list of what’s inside your four walls. You may realize that – much like the value of your home has increased – so has the value of your belongings that need to be covered. (Unless you buy cheap Walmart crap, then its likely worthless) As you expand the supply of household electronics and digital devices, chances are the overall worth of your personal goods is growing.

Following is a list of best practices for making sureĀ  the belongings in your household are fully covered when you need to make insurance claims.

PICTURES & VIDEOSĀ – Capture images of your belongings using a smartphone and store them in a separate location from your home, possibly an online video cloud service such as Vimeo.

SMARTPHONE APP – Apps such as the UPHelp Home Inventory tool or Allstate Digital Locker are available to simplify the steps of combining images with details of your valuables.

DOCUMENTATION – Establish a manifest or spreadsheet that details your belongings. Update the list at regular intervals.

 

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