How to Update Your Home Inventory After the Holidays
Make sure your new gifts—as well as current possessions—are protected against loss.
As the holiday season winds down, take time to give yourself an important gift: an updated inventory of your household possessions. A home inventory is your master record of all your possessions in the event of a fire, theft or natural disaster. And your insurance claim is based on that record, which helps you create your proof of loss—so if it isn’t up-to-date, you may not be fully protected.
Make your first goal of the new year to document your belongings. Right after the holidays, you may have many new—and possibly valuable—items to add to your inventory.
Get valuables appraised
Have high-value belongings, such as jewelry, collectibles and art, professionally appraised to document their worth. If you received antiques or family heirlooms, be sure to have those appraised too. Then, pass the appraisals on to your insurance representative if you choose to separately insure those items.
Update your digital inventory
Photograph your new belongings and label each with important details. You also could shoot a video and narrate this information as you record. You can use online software to keep an ongoing list, such as this household inventory log from the Insurance Information Institute.
Update your written inventory
Add all your new possessions to your home inventory—no matter how small. The MetLife Auto & Home Personal Property Inventory Kit can help you stay organized. Write down a general description of each item, and list specifics such as the cost, brand, model and serial number. If possible, attach copies of receipts or appraisals.
Return your inventory to a safe place
Store a copy of your inventory away from your home in a safe-deposit box or with a trusted friend or family member. Back up digital files to a CD or external hard drive, and keep those copies in a secure off-site location too.
Make sure you’re covered
Visit with your MetLife Auto & Home representative to review your current homeowners or renters policy. Using your updated inventory, your representative can help you determine the type of insurance you need.
While updating your home inventory is a good annual to-do item, it pays to update your records as you purchase or receive new items—especially items of high value.