A home contents inventory is a list of all the items in your home, along with supporting evidence such as serial numbers, photos & receipts. If you make a claim, your insurance company will ask you for a list of the things which were lost. That is where your inventory will come into play.

Document as much as you can now, before you need it.

Pick one room to start with and document all of your belongings in that room. You can use photos, lists, or video to capture the items. There are many apps available to use for this purpose and numerous templates available online that can assist you in this process. Once you have finished that room, move on to the next until you have covered every room.

What information do I need?

Document as much of the following as possible: description, make/model/serial number, cost/date of purchase, receipts, photo, video, appraisals, and estimated cost to replace the item if you had to purchase one today.

Keep your inventory in a safe place.

You should keep your inventory somewhere besides your phone, personal computer, or inside your home. Should significant damage occur to your home, all three could be lost at once. A good place to store this information is on one of the many secure cloud-based storage options available. Many of these are completely free to use, and you are able to access them from anywhere that has an internet connection.

Once you have your home inventory completed, be sure that all of the adult members of the family will know where to find it and that they have the username/password necessary to access it. It is also a good idea to keep the insurance policy number and claims number with the inventory as well so that all of the information is together. The more prepared you are now – before a situation occurs – the less stress it will cause later.