After our wedding, one of the financial to-do’s* was consolidate insurance. When the agent asked me if I could ballpark the replacement cost of everything we were insuring I jokingly responded – somewhere between $100 and $100,000 should cover it.
Unless you live in a hurricane zone or have a taste for the exquisite, property insurance doesn’t regularly cross our minds. Once you own a home it becomes more of a consideration, but people still fall short in estimating the true value of what they actually own.
Starting out, we have very little, and often discount those items. Seems silly to insure our used futon doesn’t it? Maybe this ties into the disposal mindset we treat our possessions with, but I think it has a lot more to do with lack of documentation.
There’s tons of suggestions for tracking our property from maintaining binders of original receipts to making video documentaries of your residence, but I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this FREE software solution – What Your Own Home Inventory.
From the program itself…
This software will enable you to create a room-by-room inventory of your home. Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you to:
- Purchase enough insurance to replace the things you own
- Settle insurance claims faster
- Substantiate losses for your income tax return
How true. The more informed you are, the better negotiator you become. You can never have too much documentation, and being able reclaim what is rightfully yours is very important as Darwin’s Money will attest to.
First and foremost, the program is extremely clean and simple to use. There aren’t a lot of features, but that’s part of what makes it so great. Cataloging your possessions is work enough, you don’t need software management added on top of it.
Once you setup the primary file details, you can easily start adding items. This is where the program isn’t lacking. From the screenshots below, the program provides ample fields for documenting as much as necessary about the item along with attaching any: photographs, receipts, and other types of files.
Navigating the program is a breeze. Items are cataloged by Room, but you can easily filter by category. If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, the program comes equipped with a powerful seach function.
After you’ve cataloged everything in your house, the program includes several different report features for detailed print-outs. These include both household summaries and detailed inventories.
To be honest, it’s been difficult finishing this post because I’ve been distracted with editing my own file as I write this! ;) So that’s it. In one sentence, What Your Own Home Inventory provides a great, simple, and free solution to documenting your property for insurance purposes.
*Editor’s Note: If you’re recently married and don’t have a financial plan, then look for something like this newlywed Bliss Box idea for some guidance.