When homeowners ask us for our biggest tips to help them protect their homes, creating (and regularly updating) an inventory of their personal property tops the list every time.  When catastrophic damage happens to a home, such as a fire or flood, much of your personal property can be destroyed, so it is difficult to remember every item you had in your home that was damaged.  Further, insurance companies often want photo or video verification of personal property when a homeowner makes a claim, so an inventory that includes photographs can help skip some of the hassle and headaches that can come with an insurance claim.

While making a list of everything you own can seem arduous in theory, in practice creating a home inventory is not hard, and once you have one in place, updating it should be a fairly routine process.

To make sure you have a well-rounded and complete home inventory, we recommend you take the following steps:

  1. 1. Create an inventory list of all personal property in your home that you would include in a claim if it was damaged.  Be sure to include furniture, clothing/shoes, appliances, and electronics—and don’t forget about other areas in your home either, like the attic or garage.
  2. 2. Take photos of each item you put on the inventory list.
  3. 3. Video record the interior and exterior of your property.

As you prepare your home inventory list, you will want to make it as detailed as possible. Given that damage is usually room/area specific, we recommend that you categorize your list by room.  However, you may choose to categorize the type of item or any other criteria you deem relevant. Regardless of how you organize your home inventory list, be sure to include as much of the following information as possible:

  • A description of the item;
  • The make, model and serial number, if applicable;
  • An evaluation of the item (how much it cost at the time of purchase and how much you think it may be worth today, if relevant);
  • Where and when the item was purchased; and
  • A photo of the receipt if you have it.

In addition to the home inventory list, photos and video are the best ways to document your possession. These methods allow you to capture details a written list can’t, and it’s easy to save and upload onto a file or to the cloud.  There are also several apps and website that can make creating and updating a home inventory even easier. Whichever method you choose, be sure to keep your inventory safe and create digital copies that you can easily access if needed.  We recommend updating your home inventory list at least every six months.

If you have any questions about creating an inventory, or any other questions about a potential property damage claim, the attorneys at Doran, Beam & Farrell, P.A. are ready to answer any question or address concerns that you may have about your claim. To schedule a FREE consultation, call or text us at 727-846-1000 or complete our online contact form.