Appraising Your Possessions

Appraising Your Possessions

How much is your furniture worth? You may know that value off the top of your head, but most people overlook the value of personal items. Some belongings you could accurately estimate the cost, like a diamond ring, a large television, a laptop, but there are some items that you couldn’t come close to guessing their true value.

The stress of losing belongings is hard enough, but you don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you retroactively have to inventory and estimate value of belongings. Often times when people have to rush to put together a list of lost belongings they end up leaving out important items. Even if you haven’t suffered a loss, incorrectly estimating how much your belongings are worth could cause you to underpay or overpay on your insurance coverage.

This type of inventory may sound daunting, but you can use these tips when approaching this task:

  • Tackle one room at a time and document all of your items through both video/photos and a list (either handwritten or typed)
  • Work in one direction (clockwise or counter-clockwise) while you list each item so you don’t overlook anything
  • Include the make, model and serial number for electronics and appliances
  • Include important details like measurements (rugs, televisions, furniture), quantities (place settings, clothing, silver), artist/designer brands
  • If you have receipts for items, include photos that purchase in your inventory
  • Items that have significant value should be discussed with your insurance agent to ensure an accurate estimate is made. Your agent may recommend you have an appraiser look at an item to estimate its value.

After you complete your inventory, you should make multiple copies of the list: one copy for a home safe and another in a secure location outside of your home. The completion of this inventory will make your future situation easier, but with each new significant purchase make sure you update your list to prevent future headaches.