Any large-scale loss of property is devastating. But if you’ve made an inventory of your personal belongings, it could make the process of recovery and filing an insurance claim much easier.  

You Need an Inventory to Make an Insurance Claim

To make a claim under your insurance policy, you need to be able to report what has been lost, stolen or broken. If you are unlucky enough to have suffered a devastating loss event such as a flood or fire, you could be facing the prospect of having to account for all your worldly possessions.

A detailed inventory will help ensure your settlement comes close to covering your actual loss.

You Have More Stuff Than You Think

Even if you don’t think you own a lot of things or that they’re not expensive, think again. Look at your home, apartment or condo from the perspective of a total loss. What if everything was gone and you had to start over? You might get an approved claim from your insurance provider. But will it cover all that you own, from your entire wardrobe to your custom drapes? Are your coverage limits high enough to replace everything at current market prices?

Making an Inventory After a Loss is Much Harder

Creating a comprehensive inventory of all your possessions is a daunting task even before a loss event. It’s unlikely you’ll remember everything if you wait until after the loss to make an inventory. And it’s even less likely you’ll remember supporting details like model numbers and brand names.

Keep in mind any delay in passing information to your insurance company will hold up the settlement of your claim.

Technology Makes the Task Easier

You can make a handwritten list of your items if you prefer, but there are tools that can make this task much easier and quicker.

  • Photographs are a great way to record many items quickly. They’re also very useful for capturing the condition of your items accurately. You should take pictures of serial numbers and model numbers for the most accurate representation of your property. (This can also be useful for documenting proof of any household item warranties.)
  • Applications specifically designed for creating an inventory of your belongings can be downloaded. Choose one with positive reviews and the proper privacy settings. Don’t include your home address!
  • Forms provided by your insurance company to create an inventory can help. Reach out to your insurance professional for more information.

Gather Your Receipts

When you are compiling your inventory, gather all receipts and other useful documents. Even if you don’t have the original receipt for your beloved flat-screen TV, the manufacturer’s warranty or operations manual might still be useful if you ever have to make a claim. All too often, these documents end up in a drawer in the kitchen or languishing in a box in the attic or basement. Gather up all those documents now and save yourself a headache later.

Store Your Inventory Off Site so It’s Safe From Loss or Damage

Once you have completed your inventory, store it off site. This will ensure that even if you cannot gain access to your home, you can still get to your inventory.

  • If your insurance company has a copy of your inventory, it could help with the claims process.
  • You could also place a copy in a safety deposit box (along with any supporting documentation).
  • Keep a digital copy in the cloud (along with scans or photographs of useful documents, such as receipts).

Share Your Inventory With Your Insurance Professional

Even if you have a reasonable idea of what your more expensive items are worth, you might be surprised to learn the total value of your clothing, dishware or jewelry. You could vastly underestimate their value and remain underinsured. This can result in a very unpleasant surprise if you should ever suffer a total loss.

When you give your insurance company a detailed inventory of your personal belongings, they can alert you if you need extra coverage for high-value items. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you are covered if the worst should happen.

Start your home inventory today and remember, even a partial list is better than no list at all. Connect with us to help draft your list and suggest digital tools that can make the process easy for you.

Personal Insurance




Don’t Wait Until Disaster Strikes — Create an Inventory of Your Belongings Now