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
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
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.