If your home were to be the casualty of a fire, major burglary or some other type of catastrophic event, do you know what it would cost you and your family to replace everything? According to recent data from Insurance Canada, “93 percent of Canadians surveyed agreed that having an up-to-date inventory of their possessions is a good idea. Unfortunately, only 35 percent actually say they have one.”

A home inventory is a great idea for many reasons, including the tendency for people to undervalue what they own. When it comes to securing the right homeowners insurance coverage, this tendency can translate into a huge liability that leaves you short of cash and possessions.

Luckily, because this is the 21st Century, technology has evolved to make the work of preparing an accurate home inventory much more efficient. Products such as the Insurance Information Institute’s Know Your Stuff (and there are numerous others) promise to make the process easy, fun and secure – with the ability to retain your records online. Many of these tools are available as free desktop downloads or smartphone apps. As always, check the source before you click. However, in times of trauma when you’ve lost it all, the ability to retrieve your inventory and file a fast and accurate insurance claim can be a major source of comfort.

A home inventory is simply a catalogue of information about everything you own in your house. It stores data such as the make and model, year of production and price paid for a particular item or appliance. This type of information can make it easier to determine the actual cash value versus replacement cost value of your possessions, which in turn may inform your homeowner’s insurance coverage decisions. Once your home inventory has been prepared and you’re ready to adjust your coverage needs, an experienced HUB broker can help make the process a breeze.

Home Inventories Aren’t Just for Homeowners

Renters would be wise to maintain a timely and accurate record of their possessions as well – in conjunctions with a tenants’ insurance policy. Landlords and lessors are under little legal obligation to compensate tenants for damage or loss to their living space and belongings. There are way too many anecdotes of otherwise responsible renting families ending up with nothing after a fire or other type of calamity. Your HUB broker can use a home inventory to help secure the right coverage for your specific needs.

Other Uses for Home Inventories

The other advantage of an accurate inventory is the contribution it can make to future home sales plans and/or moving processes. When purchasing insurance coverage for a move, it is certainly handy to have an in-depth understanding of the value of possessions being handled. Don’t let a moving company decide for you. And in situations where a real estate transaction includes furnishings, knowledge can be a huge market pricing asset.

Speak to a HUB professional for more information and best practices around creating a home inventory and applying the information to adjust your homeowners or tenants’ insurance needs. After a traumatic event, don’t be left with too little – or nothing at all.