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Do You Need to Inventory Your Home’s Contents?

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Let’s face it, Americans buy a lot of stuff. If you’re like me, you have closets and drawers full of items you can’t seem to part with.

You may decide to clean out a particular area of your home, only to reorganize everything rather than actually throw it away.

And just like me, you may marvel at the things you rediscover each year while going through this process.

The fact that you may rediscover things you’ve owned for years is the best example of why you need to inventory your home’s contents in the event of a fire or other catastrophe.

Of course, the reality is that you probably won’t be capable of listing everything you own off of the top of your head.


The purpose of the contents insurance portion of your homeowners or renters insurance policy is to provide coverage to replace the “stuff” you lose as a result of a covered property damage claim.

Often times, the coverage amount for your home’s contents is calculated at 50 to 70 percent of your home’s value.

Sound like too much?

A betting man would side with the homeowners insurance company’s calculations on this one. How many home fires have you dealt with in comparison to them?

Exactly how do you propose to get reimbursed for your stuff if you aren’t sure exactly what you own?

Put another way: are you confident you can list everything you own at this point in time? If you answered yes, congratulations!

Now, do you think you’d be able to make that list while wearing your pajamas and staying in a hotel after your home burnt to the ground?

Oh yeah; also take into consideration that you just realized you lost a lifetime’s worth of pictures and your great-grandmother’s wedding ring…do you get the point yet?

An up-to-date home contents inventory will help you get your settlement more quickly and without any static from your insurer.

So how do you go about tackling this monumental task?

Start by making a digital photo or video log of your home. This can be accomplished with most mobile phones today.

Even if you don’t want to list it all out by hand now, you’ll be better off reviewing photos later if the unthinkable occurs.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to upload your photos or video to an email account you already have in place.

That way, your information is stored on computer servers operated by multi-million dollar companies who won’t likely lose it.

(photo: thetruthabout, CC)

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