Do you need a home inventory or business inventory if you already have insurance?

Most people assume that once they have a home or business insurance policy, everything is covered. It’s only when they actually need it that they discover they’re not prepared with the proof they need to maximize the claim payout.

  • In the event of a catastrophe, such as a fire, will you be able to recall each and every item in your home or business, as well as the value of each item? Will you remember the model and serial numbers? Will you know the value of all of your belongings and personal property? This is vital information to determine the correct replacement cost for what you’ve lost.
  • It’s important to understand your insurance policy and know what it covers. Read it over carefully and contact your insurance agent about anything you don’t understand.
  • Following an inventory, which gives them a clear idea of what they own, many customers are surprised at the total value of their belongings. They contact their insurance companies and discover they’re actually underinsured.
  • A home inventory is priceless in the event of loss. The added protection and security of being prepared offers peace of mind. It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

Can I do my own inventory?

It is possible to do your own inventory. However, it can take a great deal of time to complete on your own, and it can seem overwhelming. There is also the chance that your insurance company will want you to provide further proof about items in your home, as your inventory wasn’t done by a professional third party. There’s a good chance you’ll put it off for another day or leave it unfinished, too. A professional, third-party inventory gets the job done now without the hassle. It also adds credibility to your insurance claim or estate settlement.

What items should I have ready to be documented?

  • Your list should include: furniture, appliances, kitchen contents, drapes, computer equipment, television sets, audio equipment, jewellery, artwork, antiques, musical instruments, clocks, mirrors, lawn mowers, snow removal equipment, power tools, sports equipment, fine furniture, collectibles, art, extensive wine collections, imported rugs, and other items that would appear on an insurance rider. For business inventories, this can also include equipment, machinery, office furniture, office supplies, and more.
  • You may also want to include receipts, appraisal documents, birth certificates, marriage licenses, deeds, and any other important documents.

What can I do to prepare my home or business for an inventory?

Everything will be videotaped, photographed, and recorded. Having your home or business in a neat, orderly state will increase efficiency.

How long will the inventory of my home take?

We provide you with an estimate based on the square footage of your home or business along with the quantity of assets to be inventoried. An advance site visit is required to give you an accurate quote based on the amount of time we’ll need. We do our best to finish your home or office, garage and outbuildings within the designated time, but we may discover forgotten items during the inventory process, which require additional time. If so, we’ll discuss stopping or continuing at an hourly rate. If you have special collections – such as stamps, cards, coins or dolls – or extensive documentation requirements, hourly charges will apply. We can customize our service to meet your unique inventory needs.

Do I need to be present during my inventory?

Yes. We’ll be gathering information that only you can provide for each item documented. It’s also helpful to have a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy available along with any pertinent receipts.

Will you move furniture or large electronics and appliances?

No. We document and photograph all items in place. We’ll obtain make, model, and serial numbers from electronics, computers and appliances if they are easily accessible without moving furniture or heavy items. We can collect hard-to-reach model and serial numbers if you provide them. We’ll take utmost care when attempting to obtain serial numbers from computer and electronic equipment, but occasionally plugs can come unhooked! We’re not responsible for any technical challenges you may experience when reconnecting them, but we’ll avoid collecting this data at your request.

Do you document everything, even clothes in my closet?

We document almost everything, but we’ll only photograph the inside of closets, cabinets and drawers at your request. If you have expensive suits, dresses, coats, shoes, or purses that you’d like to include, please have them ready for photography. Itemizing extensive wardrobes will be done on an hourly cost basis and should be scheduled in advance.

Do you document items in storage?

Our estimate is based on the size of your property and an anticipated time allotment. If you would like items in an off-site storage unit to be included in your inventory, we’ll need to estimate and schedule that separately. Please have items unpacked and accessible prior to your inventory appointment.

What are the steps involved in my inventory?

The inventory is performed by going room to room with you, photographing and recording your assets in detail, including serial numbers, descriptions, room location, etc. We’ll also create a video of each room in your home. Once the interior inventory has been completed, we’ll videotape the exterior of your home or business. We ask that you be prepared to provide information about item values and to have them available. Your inventory can be extended to your garage, shed or studio if desired. Please be sure to include any equipment or vehicles you wish to include in the inventory.

Once the on-site inventory is complete, we’ll process your information and present you a portfolio containing a PDF of your complete inventory and photos, along with an invoice for the balance due, payable upon receipt. If you would like to make any changes, please advise us within two weeks.

There is NO CHARGE for changes within the two-week period.

What should I do with my inventory?

We recommend you store your inventory documentation, including backup flash drive, away from your home. We suggest a safe deposit box or with a trusted friend or relative.

What do you do with my inventory data?

Barreiras Home Inventory Service will never share your information with anyone without your written authorization. Your information is strictly confidential.

Is it possible to update my inventory?

Yes. Ownership and assets change over time, and we offer annual renewals and updates. These updates will keep your records current so you won’t have to pay for the full service again. We recommend an annual update, and we’ll contact you after one year to update your information and continue to maintain a copy of your inventory in our safe deposit box. A $25.00 fee (subject to change) is applicable for the service. If you have substantial additions or have remodeled your home, a site visit maybe required and will be billed at $75/hour.

Additional copies of your inventory are available upon request for an additional fee.

Do you provide appraisals as part of the home inventory?

No, we do not do appraisals; we provide documentation only. We may make recommendations for professional appraisals on items that may need additional insurance coverage, and we can refer you to a professional appraiser upon request.

Can you help me with insurance?

Barreiras Home Inventory Service does not sell insurance or give estimates. We are independent property and inventory specialists. We may suggest that you consult your insurance provider once your inventory is complete. Your homeowner’s policy may not cover the cost of particular items, such as expensive jewelry; fine art or antiques; electronic equipment; or home-based business equipment. Your policy may limit reimbursement to an amount far below the actual value of those items.