Why You Should Keep a Record of Your Home’s Contents
Over time, we collect so much personal property that it can become difficult to keep track of it all. Unfortunately, this can lead to a great deal of heartache in the event of a burglary or disaster such as fire or flood; with so many items destroyed or stolen, it can be impossible to think of everything that you lost if you don’t have a record-keeping system in place. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of keeping a record of your home’s contents for home security purposes, as well as some of the best practices in keeping these records.
Why keep records?
In the unfortunate but very possible event that your home is broken into or destroyed by disaster, you’ll want to turn to your insurance company to see that all your belongings are replaced. What many people find, however, is that they are unable to recall everything in their home when such an event occurs because they haven’t kept proper records.
Even worse, many victims of property loss find that without accurate records of their property, insurance companies make the process of replacing your contents much more difficult and, in some cases, will not cooperate at all. For these reasons, it’s essential that you keep accurate and regularly updated records of your home’s contents.
Record-keeping: step by step
- Start by choosing an off-site location to store your record-keeping information. This might involve a safe deposit box or an online account where you can upload pictures and scans. Much of the time, it’s advisable to have both of these options available.
- Get into the habit of making copies or scanning every receipt that you get for large purchases such as furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing and so forth. These receipts will need to be produced and presented to your insurance company in the event of property loss.
- Take a walk through your house (and outside, as well) with a digital camera and take a photo of everything that you own. This is a handy way to capture a record of everything you own without having to go to the trouble of writing it all out yourself.
- Not everything will be able to be captured by camera; items stored in drawers or boxes, for example, will need to be recorded separately, so make a complete list of these items. You may wish to consider arranging them outside of their storage location and taking a photo.
- Take a close look at your insurance policy to find out exactly what will be covered in the event of a loss. For example, many insurance policies only cover a percentage of home value when it comes to replacing contents. If this doesn’t cover all the items you have in your home, you may wish to purchase a more comprehensive policy.
The Importance of Home Security
When it comes to replacing your home’s contents in the event of a burglary, insurance companies will often want to see that you had appropriate security measures in place. Of course, installing alarm systems, CCTV cameras and other home security technology has the added benefit of preventing break-ins from occurring in the first place. It can also reduce the cost of your insurance premiums.
Consider monitored alarm systems, CCTV cameras and video verification technology as a first line of defense. You should also consider motion-activated security lighting, access control technology, and even basic security measures such as locking all your doors and covering all your windows.