6 Top Tips on Creating a Home Inventory List for Insurance

Accidents and disasters occur all the time, from fires, floods and even burglaries. Fortunately, we have insurance to protect our valuables from any disasters that might happen. However, would you be able to remember all the possessions you own if you had to make a claim? A home inventory list would assist you in doing that.

What Is Home Inventory List?

A home inventory list is a list that contains all your valuable items and personal belongings that are in your home.  This list makes the insurance claim process easier and faster as you will have the exact amount that your items and personal belongings were worth. To create the list, you can list your items based on the rooms they are in or the types of items or belongings.  This list can include the item description or their serial numbers and dates of purchase.

When to Make a Home Inventory List?

When considering to make a home inventory list, the best time to make it is now.  The list does not have to be detailed and complicated at first; you can always make adjustments at a later stage. Creating a home inventory list helps you with essential insurance queries such as the insurance amount you will require and the insurance cover that best suits you and your needs. You can also check what insurance will and won’t cover during this time, even if you have included these items on the home inventory list, such as antiques and jewelry.

Reasons To Make a Home Inventory List

A home inventory list helps prove your loss, and helps you receive the amount of money that will assist when you need to replace the items you have lost when making a claim.  The dangers of not creating a home inventory list are that when you lose your items or if they are damaged, and you never took the time to detail the value, you might be underpaid or not receive compensation when you need to lodge a claim. If this is the case, this means you will have to replace those items using your own money.

How to Create a Home Inventory List?

Creating a home inventory list should not be a difficult task.  Here are some tips that will assist you in creating one.

  1. Use Home Inventory Apps

    Nowadays, technology can assist you with whatever you want to do. The same applies to the home inventory list as there are home inventory mobile app options that will help you create one by walking through each room to record videos. This video can be useful when claiming as it can be used as a reference when proving that an item was lost or damaged.  You can make these videos in conjunction with lists that you have made already.
  1. Create a Digital Home Inventory List

    You can start to create a home inventory list by taking pictures or videos. You can do a room to room tour, go through areas within the room, closets, cupboards and belongings/items.  You can then take photos of those items’ models or serial numbers. You will be able to create the list better and figure out how much your possessions are worth. Pictures and videos are useful, and they will offer you protection until you complete the list. Some smartphones also allow you to add the description of the captured item when you save the picture.
  1. Estimated Value of Contents You Own

    A home inventory list is necessary as it has the items you will give to the insurance company when you want to claim. However, it is essential to know those items’ value. This will assist you in choosing the right insurance and in knowing how much insurance coverage your items will require. When you estimate the value of the possessions you own, remember that this amount is not the actual cash value, but rather it is the replacement amount. While doing so, you could speak to your insurance company about the claims settlement process and whether or not you will receive the replacement cost.  If they don’t, then you can make the necessary adjustments to avoid any surprises in your moment of need.
  1. Include Basic Information

    When creating a home inventory list, include all the information about those items. Firstly, describe each item in great detail by having the name of the store or place where you purchased them and the amount it cost. You should include the items’ make, model and serial number. You can locate the serial number at the back or bottom of electrical appliances; they serve as a reference for those items. The information you collect will be helpful when you need to make a claim.
  1. Have Proof of Value

    When you purchase items, there is always proof that you bought those items.  You can use the receipts and the contracts of purchase in proving the value of your items. You are able to figure out the replacement cost today by estimating how much you would pay for those items if you did so today.
  1. Safely Store and Update Home Inventory

    You should have a home inventory list as it plays a vital role in the claims process, but it is advised that you don’t keep the physical copy in your home as you could lose it or have it damaged in the event of a fire or flood.  This is why you should consider using technology and storing the list and pictures or videos you have in the cloud. Alternatively, you could give a physical copy of the list to a friend or family member to keep for you.  This information should not be easily accessible to the general public. You should update your list each time you make a new purchase and add receipts to the inventory list.


Though making a home inventory list can be time-consuming, it is necessary to have one to ensure that all your items will be replaced when disaster strikes.  Creating one early will ensure that you don’t miss any items, and that you are thorough during the process.

Take a look at our Home Insurance Guide – How to File a Claim After a Burglary.

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