Among your important papers should be a household inventory -- an itemized list of your personal belongings. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, an accurate household property inventory is a necessity. It provides information for:
In case of a loss due to burglary, vandalism, or an insured peril, your insurance company will require a list of all items lost or destroyed. Reconstructing a list of belongings from memory is often difficult; it's easy to overlook items that you've hidden away and even ones you use regularly.
Reduce your initial investment of time in preparing an inventory by photographing and/or videotaping your belongings. Refer to Household Inventory for more detailed information. You can enter your personal information into the Household Inventory Interactive Form (available in rtf format) and save it on your computer hard drive. List a description of each item, serial number, purchase date, original cost, and estimated current value. If you can't find original purchase prices of household electronic equipment in your records, read newspaper classified advertisements or check the Internet for the value of electronic gear that is similar in age and features to yours. Record that information on your household property inventory list and keep it up-to-date. Store an extra copy of your inventory in a secure location outside your home and compare it periodically with the original to make sure the versions remain identical.