When you move, you need to have an overview of all your belongings. This is important both for property insurance and shipment insurance, and most necessary in order to get the insurance value correct! Such a list also makes it easier to check if something has been damaged during shipment.
Why Do You Need It?
- Moving is always a stressful experience, except for few gifted individuals that have it down to an art - a talent not available to any of Paguro staff, ... hence the need to create Paguro in the first place. Now imagine transferring the contents of your home - prior to moving - onto a piece of paper… with all the hundreds of other things to do!!
But in order to insure your shipment, this is what is required of you.
Make a list of all your belongings, including their estimated value. Make sure you keep the original purchase receipts and all instructions that may go with them. If you do not have receipts, get a written appraisal or a value estimate for each item. A household inventory will also make it easy to determine whether you have sufficient insurance coverage and, in the event of a claim, helps to easily verify losses.
Your moving company or insurance company can be of assistance with this, and they should have a form you can use to make the inventory list easier (not all of them do, though!).
- For insurance purposes it is also advisable to take photographs of or video film your belongings. This should make an insurance claim process much easier. In such a situation it comes in handy having a snapshot of the items and their values listed somewhere for reference for the insurance claim (if you are insured of course!). Better still to have your listing online in order to have access to it no matter what.
And even if you do not move, it is useful, in case your home or any other property is damaged or stolen, to have a proper listing of your belongings and their value, together with photos and purchase receipts of valuable items.
- Personal property insurance in the US, for example, pays for your personal contents and extra living expenses, if the property inside your home is damaged or destroyed.
Some policies pay for items that are lost, stolen or damaged outside the home.
This type of policy pays if: you lose a diamond ring, you damage your computer while travelling or someone steals your wallet from an hotel room.
If you own a home, personal property insurance can be part of the homeowner's policy.
- In any case, lost, stolen or damaged household possessions can be more easily replaced or identified if you keep the purchase receipts and the items recorded in a video or photograph, or you scanned images and safely store them online.
This practice is called 'creating a household inventory' and it's something that you should do regularly if you own anything of value, such as jewelry, furs, rugs, art, computers, furniture and collectibles.
If you don't have receipts, get a written appraisal or a value estimate for each item.
- Updating your inventory a bit at a time is easier and more efficient than doing it all at once at the time of relocation. Store the inventory list and documents (receipts, photos etc.) in a safe place (if you can, purchase a fire resistant safety box, if not you can use the bank safety deposit box).
Keep an additional copy at home. As you type the list, save it on your home computer and e-mail a copy to your office or to a person you trust.
Compiling the Inventory List
- To get started, you might want to organise your work by rooms (kitchen, bathroom, living room, master bedroom, child bedroom, garage etc.). For appliances, tools and other instruments, write down the serial numbers of cameras, computers, TVs, and stereos, together with the model number and year of purchase.
- Go through wardrobes, closets and drawers. For clothing, go by category (coats, dresses, suites, shoes etc.) and list the overall number, making a separate recording of more expensive items, such as furs or unique designer clothes.
- It’s better to keep a list for your general household items and a list for valuables, since - for the latter one - you can consider having a separate insurance policy and you might wish to update the policy, should the value increase significantly over a period of time. Added or optional coverage may not cover the increased value of your valuables.
- Also do not overlook the difference between contents’ actual cash value insurance and replacement value insurance. If you insure only the contents’ actual cash value, depreciation will affect your insurance claim settlement amount.
For example, a dining table you paid $2500 for five years ago, will cost you $2900 to be replaced. If your policy covers the replacement value, you get $2900.
The depreciated value on the other end is lower, because the table is older; its value being around $1200.
If your insurance policy covers only the contents' actual cash value (i.e.: the depreciated value) you receive a refund of $1200.