Create an Effective Home Inventory

Last Updated:
September 27, 2021
Karen Spencer
Time to Read:

Creating a home inventory may seem like a hassle, but it's crucial when it comes to saving you time and money when filing a home insurance claim.

What is a Home Inventory Checklist?

A home inventory is essentially a detailed list of all of the valuables in your home and generally includes a description, serial number (if applicable), the purchase date and estimated value of each item.

In the event of a natural disaster or home break-in, an up-to-date inventory can help expedite the claims process and verify your losses.

Why create a home inventory checklist?

Though your homeowners insurance policy provides the protection that you need in the event of a loss such as a fire or burglary, your policy can only pay for items that you can document.

In order to ensure that all your prize possessions will be replaced, you should conduct a home inventory so you have a finite record of everything that you own. This inventory will assist you in determining which items were destroyed or stolen.

How does a home inventory list relate to my home insurance policy?

Not only can a household inventory checklist assist you in the event of a loss, it can also help you determine whether you have enough insurance coverage.

Your coverage should equal the cost of your possessions at today’s prices. Items such as jewellery, furs and fine art should be appraised on a regular basis to ensure that you have enough insurance to cover their high-priced value.

How should you conduct a home inventory?

To complete a full home inventory, walk through every room in your home and identify all of the contents.

It's also wise to take photographs or make a video of all of your possessions, and keep this media documentation with your list. Then, place all of this information into a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box at your bank.

Periodically, update this list as you purchase more items for your home.  

Before creating a home inventory, there are a number of tips to keep in mind that will simplify the process and help you create a more effective list:

Plan ahead

The sooner you create your home inventory list, the better. The longer you wait to catalogue your belongings, the more work you will have to do later on to catch up.

Getting ahead of your inventory list will ensure you are prepared in the event you have to file a claim.

Take photos

And videos. Photographs are a fast and effective way to digitally create an inventory of your valuables.

Including notes along with the pictures can help add much-needed detail that will help when it comes time to file a claim.

Keep paper records

Keeping a proof of purchase like a bill, receipt or warranty not only confirms ownership, but it can also help you assign a monetary value to each of your possessions.

This ensures that you are not overpaying for coverage, and when it’s time to file a claim, the value of your belonging will be properly estimated.


Perhaps as important as the creation of a proper home inventory is the storage of the list. In the event of a fire or other property damage, it's possible that your inventory can get lost or destroyed.

Keeping your list in a safe can help keep it protected. In addition, consider saving a digital copy of your home inventory as a backup.

Send Scrivens a copy!

Send your insurance broker a copy of your home inventory and we will store it in our system. We will keep your inventory on record in "the cloud" for easy access should you need quick access and you have lost access to yours.

Sign up for Scrivens Online to access all of your insurance documents.

Download Free: Home Inventory Checklist