Why you need a home inventory list

Posted in General, Home

In the event you experience a loss to your home, whether it be by fire, tornado, flood, burglary or other event, having a home inventory list can help ease your situation. Having that peace of mind is invaluable, yet, according to a 2012 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, more than half of Americans do not have a home inventory list.

An inventory list will help when filing a claim and provide proof of what you had before the loss. However, in order for your inventory list to be valuable, you’ll want to prepare it correctly, filling in all necessary details, taking photos or videos of items and updating the list annually.

Creating a list may seem like a daunting task; we’ve got you covered with these easy-to-follow tips on how to create a home inventory list.

Create a Checklist

  • Inventory each room in your house (including your garage) and write down all your items.
    • Include all items such as: electronics, furniture, kitchen items, lamps, clothes, pictures, golf clubs, workout equipment, shoes, bikes, lawnmower, snow blower, etc.
    • For each item, include:
      • Item description, Price, Date, Brand Name
      • For electronics, include the model (e.g. iPhone 6s) and serial number
    • Click here for an example checklist to get you started (you’ll need Microsoft Excel to see this file)
  • Save your checklist on a flash drive (or on a cloud system) and store that drive outside your home at work or a friend’s house; provide a copy of the list to your independent insurance agent

Keep Receipts

  • Or copies of your receipts to show when you purchased your items and the cost
    • If you have a scanner, you can scan the receipts and store them on your flash drive or cloud system

Take pictures or videos

  • Of each room in your home at different angles
  • Of the outside of your home at different angles
  • Take individual pictures or videos of electronics and items that may be associated with a higher value such as furniture, golf clubs, lawnmower, washer, stove, etc.
  • Save these pictures and videos on the flash drive or the cloud system, along with your checklist

Update your list annually

  • Keep your receipts or make copies of your receipts; each January go through your receipts and update your list
  • Add/remove items to your inventory list as necessary
  • Don’t forget to add home improvement purchases such as new windows or flooring

Once your list is created, you’ll want to review it with your independent insurance agent to understand what’s currently covered under your homeowner’s insurance and what you may need additional coverage for.


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