Friends of ours were at work, one day a couple of years ago, when they received a phone call they didn’t want. Their house was on fire. They live in a newer neighbourhood where houses are close together. The fire started in a neighbour’s house and quickly engulfed two others.
Our friends lost everything. Insurance covered rebuilding the house and replacing contents, but it couldn’t bring back mementos and personal itmes.
Every day we see news reports of homes being destroyed by fire or devastated by flood waters. Even more numerous are the unpublicized instances of break-ins and home thefts. For the most part, these accounts fade into the background as we think to ourselves – ”it’s okay, I have insurance.” And while the peace of mind that property insurance provides allows us all to sleep at night, most don’t realize what a traumatic experience these events can be.
“Trying to remember all the items in your home can add to an already stressful event. Having an inventory of items in your home is one of the best ways to prepare yourself,” states Stefanie Hay, insurance and claims expert with Aviva Canada.
Besides helping ensure you have the right amount of insurance; an inventory will help settle your insurance claim faster and verify losses for your income tax return.
Sure, but who has time to go through every item in their home? The task need not be onerous and can be as easy as taking a video account of each room in your home.
Many insurance companies also prepare content lists that can act as a helpful starting point. AvivaCanada.com recommends separating the contents into categories:
- Clothing, books, tools, toys, bicycles, and other items
- Jewelry, silverware and other valuables
- Computer equipment, gaming consoles and software
Whether you conduct a video or written inventory of your home, don’t forget to keep your inventory in a safety deposit box or at a trusted home. That way you’ll be sure to have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. You should also keep a record of legal documents, such as birth certificates and passports, and financial documents, such as bank account and insurance policies on your inventory.