You never know when you might experience an insurance loss. Fire, flooding or theft are all unpredictable and can cause devastating damage to your home and possessions. It can be a stressful and confusing experience, with lots of paperwork to complete and insurance requirements to meet.
If you need to file a home insurance claim, you may be asked for a list of damaged or lost contents. Preparing a list of your possessions beforehand is much easier than creating a list from memory later. Along with photos and proof of ownership, a home inventory list will make it easier and faster to file an insurance claim. Creating your inventory ahead of time can also make sure you have the right amount of insurance coverage in place.
We’ve created a list of commonly found items in your home to get you started on your inventory. Print a home inventory checklist.
Tips for making your inventory list:
- Include as much information as possible. Insurance companies may require details such as purchase dates, values, serial numbers and brand names before paying your claim. Update your inventory regularly to add new items and keep receipts for more expensive items.
- Don’t forget about your clothing and accessories, including shoes and jewellery. You can always attach extra sheets to the inventory if needed.
- It’s a good idea to include photographs or video of the rooms in your home. Don’t forget closets, the attic, the garage and any outlying buildings on your property, such as a shed. Open drawers and take photos of the contents. Not only will this help prove ownership of items, but it could also document any overlooked items. Label the pictures and video with the date they were taken.
- Keep the completed inventory, pictures and video, a copy of your insurance policy, and any supporting documents in a secure and fire-proof safe. Make several copies and in case your home is damaged, store copies in a separate location, such as a safety deposit box, at work or at a relative’s house.
- Don’t just depend on the hard copies. Save digital copies of any pictures, videos and any documents on your computer. Email them to yourself and file them in an inbox folder so you have easy access by logging into a computer.
- Take the time to review the personal property coverage limit of your insurance policy on a yearly basis. The personal property section of your policy is what covers your possessions or home contents against damage, destruction or theft. Make sure you have enough coverage to replace all the items listed in your home inventory.
- Standard homeowner, condo and tenant insurance policies usually have limited coverage on certain items, such as furs, jewellery or specialty collections (stamps, coins). Make sure you discuss these items with your BrokerLink broker as you may be able to buy more coverage.
Starting a home inventory from scratch may seem intimidating, especially if you’ve lived in your home for years and haven’t been in your attic or basement recently. Just remember you don’t have to do it all at once. Take one room at a time so you stay focused and don’t get overwhelmed. Set aside an hour each day, or once a week until you’ve completed each room in your house. It may take some time but its well worth it in case you ever need to file a claim. Make sure you update the list regularly to include new purchases or gifts.
If you have any questions about what is covered by your homeowner’s or contents insurance, don’t hesitate to contact your BrokerLink broker. We work hard to make sure you have the coverage you need to protect the things you love, whether it’s a brand new entertainment system or your grandmother’s jewellery. You can have peace of mind and focus on enjoying your time spent at home.