Imagine needing to list every possession in your home or apartment, along with each item’s worth – after your belongings have been stolen or destroyed in a fire or natural disaster. Creating a household inventory means you will have that detailed list of your belongings on hand if the worst case scenario happens to you and your family.

I am constantly recommending that clients create a household inventory. Check out this article from Forbes about how to get started. I truly feel one of the aspects that sets me apart as an agent is my experience in claims.  My introduction to the insurance industry was on the claims side: as a relocation housing specialist.  During my time in that role I coordinated alternative housing and served as a liaison between the client and insurance adjusters who represented many different insurance companies. 

In the past I have written several articles on my blog about the claims experience and the importance of loss of use.

A good home inventory can:

  • Speed up the claim process with your insurance company because you won’t spend time trying to make an inventory after the damage has already been done.
  • Maximize your claim payment and ensure accuracy because you won’t forget any of your belongings.

I have witnessed firsthand how difficult it is to remember and account for all of your items once they have been badly damaged or destroyed.  In the event of a fire, would you be able to remember all of your possessions?  Creating an inventory can seem like a daunting task, but taking the time to do so can save you hours of time, and thousands of dollars at a time when you will need it most.

What should be included in a home inventory?

  • A description of the item, including the make and model (if applicable)
  • Estimated value of the item
  • Purchase date
  • Receipts
  • Serial number (if applicable)

Click here to download a printable worksheet from Travelers to help get you started.

Video documentation is a quick and easy way to start the process.  Walking through your home creating a video which you can email to yourself will be incredibly helpful in the event of a claim.  Additionally, you could create a photo record of your belongings, capturing important individual items as well as entire rooms or closets.  The more specificity you include, the more likely you’ll be able to get a claim filed quickly, and at the right amount, should anything happen to your stuff.  If this all seems overwhelming, remember that anything is better than nothing. 

Remember, in the event of a loss, you want to be sure your homeowners insurance will provide coverage for your belongings based on the Replacement Cost Value (RCV) not Actual Cash Value (ACV).  Actual Cash Value factors in depreciation, subtracting a percentage of the value for each year since its purchase.  This means you would only receive a fraction of the amount needed to replace all of your belongings.  Earlier in the year I stressed why replacement cost matters in an article about homeowners insurance.

Here at the agency, we have several brochures and materials to help you create a household inventory.  Stop by the agency to have a conversation and allow our materials to help guide you to get started.