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How do I take a home inventory?

Download a free home inventory checklist.

A home inventory may not seem like a high priority on your list of things to keep up with as a homeowner. However, in the event that your home was destroyed in a fire or other peril, this list will be one of your greatest assets.

A home inventory is a detailed list of all of your home contents. In the event that disaster strikes your home, this list will help you remember all of your personal belongings so that you can report your entire loss to your insurance company. Contents coverage (or coverage C) is the portion of a homeowners insurance policy that provides coverage for the items inside of your home.

In the event of a disaster striking your home the loss can be overwhelming and many homeowners can not remember everything that they had in their home before the loss. A home inventory will keep you from forgetting important items and help speed up the claims process.

Also, when taking a home inventory take note of any particularly high-value items such as pieces of jewelry, furs or collectible items. Some of these items have coverage limits associated with them which may leave some of your possessions under insured. Ask your insurance agent if you need an endorsement, or rider, on your policy in order to adequately cover these items.

When taking an inventory of your home, be sure to include everything you own except vehicles, animals and items that are insured under other policies. It is important to keep this document in a safe place outside of your home- such as in a safe deposit box or at a relative's house.

A few helpful reminders for creating your home inventory:

  • List every item of value in your home
  • Include serial numbers of items anywhere you can
  • Continuously update your home inventory as you acquire new items
  • If you have the receipt- include it!
  • Take Photos- take close-up and wide-angle shots, use a color camera or video camera if possible and have a family member in all pictures to help prove ownership.

Last Updated: September 15, 2010

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