In the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, home inventory tracking may not be your top priority. You may assume that it’s nothing more than a formality. After all, you carry general homeowner’s insurance. According to a poll conducted at MSN, most homeowners tend to assume that their homeowner’s insurance will protect them and replace their valuables and assets in the event of a disaster or theft. Unfortunately, this mistaken belief could cost you thousands.
According to Homeland Security News Wire, natural disasters alone cost U.S. homeowners more than $32 billion a year. An almost equal number is spent on manmade disasters, as well; and thefts add billions to this total. Just because you were in one of these situations doesn’t mean that your insurance company will cover your full loss.
Most insurance providers require documentation of your goods. While it may be easier for the insurance company to document the damage done to your home, demonstrating and claiming the value of your belongings is far more difficult. Without proof, the insurance company does not have to believe you, and they can settle on the minimum payout for your coverage or deny it completely if they see the situation as warranting it. Even if you take the insurance company to court, things don’t get any easier. The burden of proof is on your shoulders. This means that you have to prove that you owned these things, and that they have the value you claim.
WHAT DOES HOME INVENTORY TRACKING INVOLVE?
Maybe you think you’re doing fine without knowing or that you don’t have the time to invest in a home inventory system. The great thing about Asset Panda is that it doesn’t take much time to handle your inventory management. In fact, you can complete it within a weekend, even if you’ve never done any inventory work before. It downloads straight into your smartphone. You can go through the house and document all of your belongings. This takes only a fraction of the time that other inventory management services would require. You can document your items through:
- Taking photographs with your smartphone
- Searching the database
- Scanning the barcode
IS HOME INVENTORY TRACKING REALLY WORTH THE TIME?
Absolutely. The risk to you and your family is immense if your home were to be struck by a disaster or robbed. In the best-case scenario, you might get back the value of some of the things you own, but you wouldn’t get back everything. Having a home inventory tracking software as easy as Asset Panda allows you to protect yourself, your family, and your possessions. However, you can also expect to find other benefits from your home inventory.
Ensure Necessary Amount of Insurance Coverage
Aside from helping you with your insurance claims, it’s also good for determining whether you have purchased the necessary amount of insurance coverage. You will want some flex room in this amount, but you don’t want to underinsure your home, particularly if you are in an area with high levels of crime or high risks of flooding, earthquakes, or the like.
Identifies Items and Limitations
Certain household items only have limited rather than full coverage. These are some of your more valuable items. They include jewelry, coins, antiques, artwork, and silverware, typically. Once you realize these gaps, you can evaluate whether you want to purchase additional coverage through a rider to insure them for their full value.
Verifies the Condition of Your Collection
Loss and damage can cause chaos in your life at any time. You need to make sure that you can verify your household inventory.
It’s important to do this even when you are planning simply to move. If you have insurance that covers this, as well, make sure your movers don’t harm your household items.
When you’re handling insurance issues, developing estate plans, and protecting your assets, you can avoid a number of problems by being specific. The information gathered in a home asset / inventory report includes:
- Serial number
- Purchase date
- Photos and video footage
- Intended heir designation (if appropriate)
- Estimated or appraised replacement value
- Scans of receipts and important documents
By taking inventory of all of the valuable things in your life, you’ll be prepared to show their value to insurance companies and law enforcement officials. Asset Panda will allow you to report home assets quickly and easily, even if you aren’t sure of your valuables’ overall worth.
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