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Got Time on Your Hands? Create a Home Inventory for Insurance

woman and man sit at a table and look at a tablet and papers together

So many of us are homebound right now, whether we’re working from home or under stay at home mandates. When we’re not working, we’re trying to find things to keep us busy. We’re watching YouTube videos on DIY home improvements, trying out new recipes, organizing closets, catching up on television series or finding activities to keep the kids busy. So what do you have time to do right now that you might have been putting off?

It’s a great time to create or update your home inventory for your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Rather than waiting for a potential natural disaster like a hurricane to record the items in your home, serial numbers, and warranty information, now is the time to make a list of the valuables, appliances, and other household items in case of emergency in the future. Here’s how to get started:

  • Start with big ticket items. Record serial numbers, makes and models of your appliances and electronics. Take photos of your receipts if you have them, and note when and where you purchased them.
  • Next, move on to your most recently purchased items. These are the things that are likely to be missing from the last time you created an inventory list.
  • Include valuables like jewelry, family heirlooms (including appraisal) and inventory clothing by category (make notations for designer or more expensive pieces).
  • Take photos or videos of your artwork, along with receipts or appraisals.
  • Take photos or videos of all furniture, noting antiques or particularly valuable pieces.
  • Organize and store warranty information, receipts, and appraisals in a fire proof box or scan and upload to the cloud. Keep multiple copies in a few safe places, like a safety deposit box at your bank, filed at your away-from-home office, and an additional set with a trusted relative or friend.
  • Don’t forget off-site items. Your belongings kept in a self-storage facility are covered by your homeowners insurance too. Make sure you include them in your inventory.
  • Use technology to make your home inventory easier. Take photos or videos. Create a private YouTube channel or photo library to save in the cloud so you won’t have to worry about storing the data you record.
  • Taking video gives you the advantage of being able to narrate anything notable about the item, saving you time from writing it down.

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