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Creating your home inventory

Every homeowner, renter and college student should have an inventory of their possessions. Just imagine…if you had a fire or burglary, would you be able to remember everything you own and what it cost? Having an inventory can save you time, money and stress if you have to make a claim.

don't fall victim to procrastination...get started

Admittedly, the thought of documenting all your possessions can be an overwhelming prospect, but it's worth the effort. Our human inclination is to delay this type of project, but don't continually put it off. Some of the best ways to overcome this is to:

Set a time goal. Setting a deadline helps keep you on track.

Break it up into pieces. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all at once. Go room by room. Start with your most valuable possessions. 

Get help. Have someone help you take the inventory and review it. 

how to tips 

create a list

Find a method that works for you. Using a computer, can make storage, duplication and updates of your inventory easy. If you don’t have a PC, paper works fine, too.  Click below for sample home inventory worksheets:

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has created an app that you can download to your smartphone to help you build your home inventory. The app will guide you through capturing images, descriptions, bar codes and serial numbers, and then storing them electronically for safekeeping. The app even creates a back-up file for e-mail sharing. Download the app for your phone using the links below.

iPhone® users home inventory app— myHOME Scr.APP.book 
(View Demo)
Android® users home inventory app — myHOME Scr.APP.book 
(View Demo)

what to document

Describe all items noting make, model, where purchased and price paid as applicable. List serial numbers for expensive electronics and major appliances. Count up clothing items by category noting high value items. Keep receipts or appraisals with your list if you have them.

take photos or video

Take pictures and/or video of everything using the time stamp feature if available. Label all photos with descriptions. Digital photos are inexpensive and easy to store. Video is great to give verbal descriptions of items. You may want to do this step first to create a quick inventory.

document high value items  

Items worth over $500 should be described in detail and photographed. High value items may need to be insured separately since home policies have certain personal property limitations.

safely store your inventory

Keep a copy handy for yourself. But most importantly, store your inventory documentation away from your home in a safe deposit box or with some one you trust.  

keep it up to date!

Once you’re done, update your inventory when you make big purchases. It’s a good idea to review your list at least every couple years or when you move. When you’ve completed your inventory, talk with us to be sure that you have enough insurance to cover all your possessions.