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The Russell Agency, LLC Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Update your personal home inventory for renters insurance

Renters insurance provides an essential safety net for tenants, offering protection

against unforeseen events such as theft, fire, natural disasters, or lawsuits! While

obtaining a renters insurance policy is paramount, many renters undervalue the

importance of updating their insurance coverage to protect their high-value

items. But does one truly know how many possessions one has? As life evolves

and possessions accumulate, neglecting to adjust one’s renters insurance policy can

lead to potential gaps in coverage, if you need to file a claim.

Importance of a personal property inventory. Documenting and detailing

everything an individual owns becomes crucial in the event of a fire, flood,

or home invasion. By maintaining an inventory, renters (and homeowners

and condo owners) can assess whether they have acquired sufficient coverage

for their belongings and decide whether adjustments are necessary based on their

inventory’s needs.

Step by step: How to create a personal property inventory

Here is a four-step guide that anyone can use to create or update a personal

property inventory:

Step 1: Gather necessary tools. Begin by getting all necessary supplies, such

as an Excel or Google spreadsheet, a smartphone with a quality camera, and

any receipts or bank statements showing purchases of items in your possession.

Create a new digital folder, free up space on your digital cloud or Zip drive, and/

or purchase a file storage organizer to maintain documents efficiently.

Step 2: Document your inventory. Pick a starting point in your home. This

could be a room, closet, or a drawer. Pick an item, making sure to document what

the item is, its color, size, brand, and any distinguishing patterns or features. Using

one’s smartphone or camera, take well-lit photographs from varying angles. For

larger or longer items, one can use a tape measure to measure the length or scale to

weigh the items.

Step 3: Recordkeeping. Recordkeeping is another essential step in the process.

If possible, include the date you bought each item, its original cost, and if you

still have them, the receipts. Noting the current condition at the time of

inventory, as well as the location within your home where the item is located is

helpful information to know in the future in the event a claim is filed

Step 4: Update your inventory regularly. Opting for an annual

assessment or updating after significant purchases can ensure your inventory

is updated. Keeping your inventory accurate involves noting any items you

dispose, sell, or donate.

Moreover, one should ensure accuracy by periodically reviewing the inventory

and adjusting item values, accounting for item depreciation, and price changes.