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The Importance of Keeping Inventory of Your Personal Possessions

The Importance of Keeping Inventory of Your Personal Possessions

Take a moment and consider what you would say if someone asked you to tally up the dollar value of all your possessions inside your home. What are the first items that come to mind? TV, cell phones, tablets, laptops? Most likely anything that has a higher price tag, right? These items are all part of your inventory list, but here is one key thing to remember — your property insurance policy covers you to replace all of your belongings in the event of a loss.

Now consider this: if you were to calculate the dollar value of every roll of toilet paper, every toothbrush, every piece of cutlery, even your frozen food, including all of your more expensive possessions, what would your new amount be? Quite likely a lot higher. All of these seemingly insignificant items also count toward your contents and would be replaced by your insurance company. Keep in mind, however, that they will only replace your belongings with similar items of the same value. For example: you bought your iPad two months ago for $1000.00. Should you lose that in a fire, you won’t be able to upgrade to the more expensive model that costs $1500.00. You’d only receive enough to purchase the same model you had before.

This is a daunting task for anyone, whether you own a home with fine art and expensive jewelry, or you’re a student living on your own. We’re here to help make things easier! One great place to start is by visiting the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s website to download or print their Personal Property Inventory Checklist. They’ve broken the inventory list down by room, then even further by item in each room, as well as provided a total cost by room page to calculate the total value of all your possessions. Please also take a spin to our website and download the Home Inventory Form (an Excel spreadsheet you can use to keep a digital list).

It might be a good idea to tackle one room per day; it’s a lot to go through in one shot!

There are also some great home inventory apps that can be used rather than tracking everything on paper. If you choose this digital option, make sure that the app boasts features like offline accessibility, photo and video storage, extra cloud storage and detailed categories to ensure that you can add as much information as possible.

Take a look at these pro tips that will help make dealing with a loss in your home much more smooth.

  1. Take pictures of your most valuable items, including serial numbers where applicable, or, alternatively, record a video of these same items. This will not only serve as a great starting point for compiling your inventory list, but also as confirmation of ownership should a claim be submitted.
  2. Keep as many relevant receipts as possible, whether you store them at home (a fireproof safe or safety deposit box are excellent options), or take pictures and upload them to a secure online app. It might also be a good idea to print the credit card/bank statement that corresponds with high valued items and attach the receipt so everything is kept together.
  3. Get big ticket items like jewelry, fine art, even some types of bikes, appraised every other year. This will ensure that you’re getting the actual value of the item and not a less expensive model or brand.
  4. Update your inventory list whenever you buy something new. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you forget to do this. Take advantage of spring cleaning or when you move to get down to the nitty gritty of everything you own.

It’s important to remember that there are differences between policies for renters and homeowners in regards to content coverage. Your insurance broker will be able to break your policy down for you so that you know exactly what you’re covered for.

We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions regarding home inventory. Contact us by whatever means is most convenient for you and let’s chat!

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