Creating a Home Inventory for Homeowners Insurance Purposes

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008
Homeowners Insurance

The Insurance Information Institute, an organization that provides educational resources to consumers about insurance, states that having an up to date home inventory makes the claims process run more smoothly and gets your reimbursement checks out to you more quickly. Most people have heard and know that they should keep an inventory of their belongings, but few people actually sit down and make a home inventory for insurance purposes. The whole process just seems too daunting.

New technology is changing all that though. A video or digital camera and a good database program can turn making a home inventory database into a one-evening family project. Once your original home inventory is done, it's easy to update as you go along. The III even offers free database software that leads you through the inventory process step by step, telling you what you should record, what you need and how to record it all. Once you've finished making your inventory, you can save it as a file and email it to yourself or to a friend, family member or other person that you trust so that even if your entire house is destroyed, the record of what you owned still exists and can be used to verify your claims.

Want to create a home inventory, but not sure how to go about it? There are a few ways to go about it that can actually make it fun.

Have access to a video camera? Film your inventory. Before you start, sit down and make a list of the big ticket items you own - furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, special collections, computers, etc. Gather receipts and warranty records for all the items that you can put your hands on and assign one person to hold onto them while you prepare to film. Fix your hair and get ready to smile for the camera.

Start filming in one room and make your way through that room in its entirety before moving on to the next. It will be far easier to keep track of the items you've recorded that way. In each room, film one item at a time, narrating what the item is, and any particulars about it including place of purchase and price paid. If you have receipts and warranty information, capture those on film as well. Move from room to room until you've completed the entire inventory.

You can do the same thing with a digital camera, taking photos of each item that you own to add into a database. Again, you can record them with receipts and warranties in the picture to make it easy to track everything.

What to Include in a Home Inventory
The short answer is - everything. Even if you don't have receipts and information about the items, having a visual record of it will help the insurance company assign it a value. More specifically, you'll want to include every piece of furniture, all major appliances, any collections of artwork, crafting equipment, crafting materials, toys and home goods. Some of the things that many people don't consider include your wardrobe, silverware and china, children's toys and gardening/outdoor equipment.

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