Your home inventory: Why you need one


It’s important to have a home inventory.

First of two parts

Home values have been a top concern in recent years, but how often do we pause and think about the value of the possessions inside our homes? If you’re a renter, homeowner or condo owner, when was the last time you took an inventory of the contents of your home?

A home inventory is a listing of the contents of your home and the cost to replace them if lost or damaged. Despite the numerous benefits in detailing an inventory of our homes, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners indicates that nearly 60 percent of Americans do not have a list of their homes’ contents.  Of those who do have an inventory:

  • 48 percent do not have receipts for their items
  • 28 percent don’t keep a duplicate copy of the list outside their home
  • 59 percent haven’t updated their lists in more than a year

Having a documented inventory of your home can allow you to evaluate the coverage you have on your home, condo or rental insurance policy to ensure you are adequately covered for your possessions. Many policies contain sublimits for certain classes of personal property such as art and collectibles. If your inventory shows values above those limits, you may want to speak to your agent about scheduling special coverage.

Additionally, knowing your home’s contents can save you hours documenting damaged or lost items in the stressful days following a covered loss. For example:

Knowing the make and model of your flat panel TV will save you time having to research TV models and values after struck covered loss caused by water damage to your basement’s family room.

Having a photo of your grandmother’s antique desk will allow you and your insurer to more easily calculate its value after a devastating fire in your home.

Having photos of the artwork hanging in your living room will allow your insurer to pay your claim more quickly after a theft from your home.

You took great care to choose the right insurance coverage to protect your belongings. By taking the same care to inventory your home, you can give yourself peace of mind that you have sufficient insurance to protect your belongings in the event of a loss.

Part two: How to get started (Thursday)

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8 Responses to “Your home inventory: Why you need one”

  1. LISA

    one of the easier things to do is to take a video of everything you can in your home, including serial #’s for your electronics, applicances, etc & include your drawers, closets etc.& keep it off the premises such as a safe deposit box or in a fire proof box & update it at least once a year.

  2. Cincinnati Insurance

    Lisa – Thanks for reading our blog and for your comments. Watch for Thursday’s installment, where we go into more detail about how to do a home inventory.

  3. Paul Donald

    Great blog Anne and I look forward to part 2. In addition to the NAIC app there is another free app to check out. It’s called Encircle (available on iOS and Android) and the difference is that it allows users to capture their complete home with pictures, which is easy if you are time constrained, and add information later from those pictures such as model and serial numbers and receipt details. The key is for users to find a simple solution that works for them as far too many homeowners are not taking this seriously.

  4. Charles (Anthony) Will

    I love these articles, keep them coming. As a Home Inventory Professional i love to educate everyone of the importance here! Keep up the great work!
    Anthony Will
    Owner, Harrisburg Home Inventory

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