Home Inventory Checklist

In 2019, approximately 1.29 million home fires occurred.

When a home fire occurs, you can have some peace of mind if you already have homeowners insurance on your house.

However, even with homeowners insurance, it’s still important to have a record of the things you own. After all, you’ll need this record if you have a complete loss.

You can have a record of your things by completing a home inventory. What is this, you might wonder, and how do you make one?

This guide will explain what a home inventory is, how to make one, and how it can help you if you need to file a claim.

Why You Need to Complete a Home Inventory

Creating a home inventory is crucial if you own a house and have a homeowners insurance policy. Here are a few reasons you need an inventory checklist:

To Prove What You Own If You Lose Your Assets

First, when you file an insurance claim for a loss, the insurance company will ask you to make a list of everything you lost. They may also ask for proof of your inventory.

If you don’t have a list of your inventory, proving it might be challenging. After all, you might not have any proof of what you owned. For example, if your entire house is gone from a fire, how will you prove what you had in your home?

With a home inventory, you can have all the proof you need for your insurance company if you ever need it.

If you can give your homeowners insurance company this list afterward, it will prove what you had. The insurance company will base the compensation they offer on this list.

To Have the Right Coverage of Your Things

Next, creating an inventory helps you get the right coverage for your personal property. When you make the list, you can show your insurance agent and provide it to the adjuster.

For example, if you own a $10,000 ring, your plan might not cover it without a rider. An insurance rider is something you can add to your plan to cover expensive items that your policy might not cover fully.

To Know What Items to Replace

Finally, it’s nice to have a list of everything you own just in case you lose it all. Your list will remind you of the things you had, which might make it easier for you to replace them.

Steps to Complete a Home Inventory

The best way to create an inventory checklist is by combining a written list with photos or videos. Here are some suggestions to consider using:

Write the List

First, you might want to grab a notebook and a pen and start in one room of your home. While you’re in that room, write down every item you see, and don’t forget to look in drawers, cabinets, and closets.

When you finish one room, move to the next room and do the same thing. You’ll need to work through each room inside your house, writing down all the things you own.

Take Pictures of Expensive Things

While writing the list, you might also want to take pictures of the expensive things. To receive the correct amount of compensation after a loss, you might need extra proof of the expensive items you own.

Some types of homeowners insurance base the compensation on the replacement value of items after a loss. Others, though, base it on their actual cash value. Again, you can ask your provider what your plan includes.

Take a Video of Your Items

It can also be helpful to take a video of your home. In other words, pull out your camera or smart phone and shoot a video in each room. As you do this, make sure you highlight all the expensive things that you would have to replace if you lost them.

Store These Items Somewhere Safe

Finally, you should find somewhere safe to store these documents and files. For example, you can place the written home inventory checklist in a safety deposit box or fire-proof safe. You could also store a copy at a friend’s home or with your insurance agent.

You might also want to take a picture of the inventory list. You can store the picture, videos, and pictures of your things on your phone, email server, or the cloud. You should never lose them if you store them electronically.

One thing to note is that your home inventory might change from time to time. You might give things away or buy new things. Because of this, you might want to update your list once or twice a year.

How It Can Help You With Your Home Insurance

Making a home inventory is vital for several reasons, but mainly for two specific ones.

First, it can help you choose the right homeowners insurance policy. When you provide the agent with your inventory list, they’ll help you pick the right coverage for your plan.

Your agent will also help you choose the right deductible and riders. Your list tells the agent more about the costs of replacing your things if you lost them. As a result, you’ll have an insurance plan that fully protects you.

Secondly, if you ever encounter a serious peril that damages your home, you won’t have to guess what you lost. You can go straight to your pictures, videos, and list, and you’ll see what you had.

From there, you can file the appropriate claim for your loss, and your insurance company will have an easier time verifying your possessions. As a result, you might receive more compensation for your claim.

Contact Us for a Homeowner’s Insurance Quote

Making a home inventory is a great way to document your belongings. You may want to update yours periodically and ask an agent any questions you might have about inventory lists.

If you need homeowners insurance in NJ, NY, or PA, contact us. We offer home insurance, along with many other types of insurance, and can provide you with a quote from our leading insurance providers.

Download a Complimentary Home Inventory Checklist