How to Inventory Your Property for Insurance Purposes

If you have a homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy, it covers a certain amount of personal property. If your property is damaged or stolen, what documentation do you have of those belongings? It’s important to inventory your property for insurance purposes before you ever need to file a claim. Here’s how you can do so.

Take Photos

Everyone has a smart phone these days. One of the easiest and quickest ways to inventory your property for insurance purposes is to take photos of them! Go from room to room and pay particular attention to high ticket items such as electronics and furniture. Be sure to catch enough details about each, such as the manufacturer and model.

Now that you have the photos, be sure to protect them as well (in case you lose your phone). Back up your photos to the cloud or to another off-site location. This way, if your home is destroyed in a fire, the photos of your property won’t be lost.

Receipts & Written Inventory

Another helpful thing to do is prepare a written inventory. Create a list of belongings in each room. Include important details such as the manufacturer, model, purchase date, and purchase price. If you have purchase receipts, include a copy with your documentation. The more information you include, the better the inventory of your property for insurance purposes will be. And again, be sure to keep a copy of this information somewhere other than your home.

A Note on Property Valuation

As a side note, it’s helpful to know that homeowner’s and renter’s insurance does not typically cover the original purchase price of your property. Instead, it covers the current fair market value. So, if you purchased a t.v. for $3,000 3 years ago, the current value is probably much less. How much would it cost you to purchase a used TV of a similar brand and age? That’s closer to what your insurance company will reimburse you when there’s a loss. This comes as a surprise to many who file claims, so we thought it would be helpful to mention it here.