Why taking an inventory of your valuable items is a good idea
Just imagine if the worst happened and your home was destroyed by fire. Would you honestly be able to list, from memory, all of your home’s contents? The majority of us would answer ‘no’ to that question, but it is food for thought.
If you can’t remember all of the valuable items you would like to replace, it is unlikely that your insurance company will give you adequate compensation in the event of a claim. Making an inventory of your possessions is, therefore, a very good idea and could save you time and money in the long run.
Grab your pen and paper
The first step to making an inventory is as easy as grabbing a pen and a notepad and just walking around every room of your house, writing down items as you go. Don’t forget to include the loft, garage and garden shed or any outbuildings you may have. Include the item name and quantity, a description, brand name and model, serial number and date and location of purchase. Next, write down the purchase price, current estimated value and replacement cost. It’s a good idea to keep receipts or a proof of purchase for the more valuable items.
Information is key
For high value items, you should include as much information as possible for your inventory. Valuable jewellery items should be described in detail, including the metal, any type of stones in the item, a description of the setting and the age of the item. You can get your jewellery professionally valued for insurance purposes and the valuation will include all of this information, so this may be a point to consider.
Similarly, any valuable paintings should be described in detail, including the size, the artist’s name, the subject of the piece and a description of the frame. Again, a professional valuation will provide this information for you. This should also apply to any antiques you own.
Keeping up with the digital age
It is worth making a visual record of your valuables using photographs or video recordings. Photos should be taken in natural light against a plain white or grey background, though it’s best to photograph glass or silverware against a dark background. Make sure the image is as large as possible without losing focus and use a ruler alongside the item to give perspective and measurements.
If the item has any distinguishing marks, such as a hallmark, or a repair, make sure these are shown in the photograph. Don’t forget to include items that are low in monetary value but high in sentimental value. Keep the photos or video, together with your inventory list, in a safe place and make a copy that can be left with relatives or your solicitor.
Keeping a computerised record of your valuables, including the photos, can be an excellent way to maintain your inventory. Again, make sure you store a copy outside the home. Also, ensure that your inventory is kept up to date when purchasing new items. To make sure that you are adequately covered for any loss or damage to your items, compare contents insurance from websites such as moneysupermarket.com to get the best policy for you.