Creating a moving inventory is really just a list of all your belongings. This is something that you need to do, because in the event something ends up lost or damaged, the inventory list is a quick way to identify those possessions. If you decide to go through your homeowner's insurance policy, you would need to submit a list to them of those things that were damaged or stolen along with possibly also your complete household inventory. Here's how to easily create such an inventory list.
Going Room To Room
This is still the best and most basic method. Simply go from room to room and write down each item. You want to avoid any generalities and be very detailed and clear in the description. In other words, don't just write down 'lamp,' but rather, 'lamp-gold with blue shade, made by XYZ company, model 12345.' Even when you do have several of the exact same items, still be detailed and quantify each with a number.
Include a separate column on your inventory sheet for the value of the item. Please do not neglect this since it could be critical in the event of any real problem or claim made against your moving company.
Just as a bit of an aside, it helps to understand that the amount of money your insurance company will pay out for lost, destroyed or damaged items. Here are their considerations:
- Actual Cash Value: This is the market value of your items, i.e. what you would get if you sold your items in the marketplace. Or, the replacement cost minus any depreciation.
- Replacement Cost: This is the better option, from your perspective, since it covers what it would cost to replace your items.
Of course, your insurance company may use a different method of calculation, although the above are the most common. Also, you need to include the serial number, receipt and item number on any inventory list you submit to your insurance company.
With a camcorder or a camera, you can now create a digital inventory list or record. Additionally, this type of evidence will give you extra support to back up your written inventory list. This visual evidence is great proof if there is ever an issue with your moving company.
Some ideas after you have made a digital record:
- Keep some copies of this around the house (also keep several copies of the written inventory).
- File a copy of both inventory lists with your insurance company.
- Have at least one copy of both in a locked drawer, safe, or even a safety deposit box.
Regularly update your inventory list and record. In fact, any time you buy something that you would be hurt or want to seek damages for if it were lost, make a quick little update. And have someone else go over the list to make sure everything is clearly written and that everything has been included.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.