Create a Household Inventory
Remember the kid's party game when someone's mother showed you a tray filled with household items, and you had to memorize the contents and write them down after she took away the tray?
Now imagine doing the same thing as an adult, but now the missing items are your household goods and it's no longer a game. If something happened to your house today, would you know everything that was in it?
Most of us think we would, but the experts say the chances of that happening are slim.
So create a household inventory. Listing all your worldly possessions is time-consuming, but getting started is easier than you think. Begin at one end of your house and work your way through each room.
Consider the following:
► Record the name and description of each item. If possible, include serial numbers and also receipts if you have them. Keep in mind that many warranties depend on how old an item is, so it's wise to save receipts anyway.
► Keep a record of all personal papers -- including birth certificates, marriage certificates, immunization records, and so on. Personal records are as important as furniture and appliances and, in some cases, more time-consuming to replace.
► Although insurance companies don't require it, pictures, photographs, and videotapes are valuable if anything happens to your household items. In addition to your hard copy inventory, pictures of your stuff are especially important to show the condition and value of your goods when you have "actual cost" vs. "replacement cost" insurance. With actual cost, you end up buying a used or depreciated item; with replacement cost, the insurance replaces the item with a similar item at today's cost.
► Make a copy of your list, order duplicate photos, and, if you created your list on your personal computer, print two copies and put one on disk. In whatever form, keep one copy at home in a fire-retardant box, and send another to the home of a family member or friend, or keep it in a safe deposit box at Coosa Pines Federal Credit Union.
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