How a Home Inventory Can Help When Filing a Claim

If your home was burglarized, could you recreate from memory a detailed list of all your stolen property, including serial numbers and other identifying marks? Probably not, which is why preparing a comprehensive home inventory is well worth the effort. Property crime detectives need this information to investigate the crime, and insurance companies need it to expedite your claim. It will also be invaluable in case of fire or natural disaster.

What is a Home Inventory?

A home inventory is a thorough list of all the items (especially valuables) inside and outside your home. A complete home inventory includes pictures, descriptions, dollar values and receipts (if available) of each of your belongings. In the case of a fire or burglary, a comprehensive list of all your belongings can be given to your insurance agent, allowing you to get the most out of your coverage.

Why do I Need a Home Inventory?

Whether you own your own home or rent, anyone can benefit from a home inventory. If you’ve ever had to make an insurance claim, a home inventory is your best asset to have, especially in the event of theft, fire or storm damage.

When making a claim, you will be asked to submit information on everything that was lost This can be a difficult task if you have no written record. By having an inventory, knowing each individual piece of jewelry in your jewelry box or your TV and computer details will help fast-track your claim.

Along with having a list of all your possessions, you’ll know exactly when something needs to be replaced, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing everything in your home is protected.

How to Create a Home Inventory

Paper and pencil will work just fine, or you can use a computer spreadsheet or mobile app. There is also specialized inventory software available.

  1. Create room folders. Start by walking through your home and create folders within that room. Thoroughly document each room, including hallways, closets, outside storage sheds, and the garage.
  2. List all items. Create a list inside each of the folders and write out every item within that room. Include clothing, electronics, appliances, furniture, décor, linens, artwork collectibles, and heirlooms – anything in that room should be documented.
  3. Include notes. As you create your room lists, be sure to add as much detail as possible when describing each item. Include: make, model, serial number, date of purchase, and dollar value if known.
  4. Add documents. If you still have the receipt or warranty information, especially for larger items like furniture, appliances, jewelry appraisals, art, or collectibles, add them to your inventory. If you are using a digital or mobile inventory, simply scan and upload the paper copies.
  5. Snap photos. As you go through your home, take multiple photos of each room and item. Include photos of the models, serial numbers, and any other important product details.
  6. Record video. On top of photos, video is another great way to further prove the value of your home’s contents.
  7. Home appraisal. Include your most recent home appraisal in the case of an unexpected occurrence.
  8. Don’t forget a backup copy. Have a copy of your home inventory in a safe place. This could be a safe place like a safety deposit box. If it is a digital inventory, host it in a secure storage or cloud account. That way you’ll have access to it no matter what happens.
  9. It is a working inventory. Always continue to keep your inventory updated as you acquire new possessions or get rid of items. Update maintenance dates and warranty renewals. Regular maintenance of your home inventory is the key to a successful process.

Home Inventory Help

Your home inventory won’t be much help without the right insurance coverage. Contact your Hertvik Insurance agent today to get renters or homeowners insurance (or update or review your current policy) to make sure it has the right coverage limits for all your possessions. Let us walk you through everything you need to know to ensure your policy is tailored to your exact and unique needs.


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