How to make a listing list for property insurance (and why it's important)


It seems like our way of life are run by lists. You will find shopping lists, to-do lists, grocery lists and life lists – just to name some. Some lists are exciting (just like a “What to pack for Cuba” list) and others, not so much (say, a 'Things I have to sort to file my taxes' list). Today, let's talk about insurance lists, or even more specifically, a home inventory that you can present to your insurance company just in case something terrible happens. Because if you find your house flooded or burned down, you're going to have to prove to the insurance company you actually owned the things you lost so you can claim. How can you create this kind of list? And just what do you placed on it?

A home inventory may not be probably the most exciting kind of list to create – but if you are spending money on property insurance, it's one that's necessary. Below, some suggestions for creating an inventory which will meet your insurer's requirements.

What to know before getting started

“Home insurance claims are primarily driven by property damage, or break-ins and thefts,” says Farahana Jobanputra, director of smart home and cyber security at, AmTrust North America. She states that a good home inventory checklist is a detailed listing of your possessions, including receipts, descriptions, pictures and/or videos of every listed valuable. With regards to the more valuable items, the greater paperwork the greater.

“In the situation of collector's items, artwork or jewelry, it is recommended that homeowners likewise incorporate appraisals. You should include as much detail as possible, including manufacturer, model and product name, ghd serial numbers, model numbers, and any detail to validate a distinctive identity towards the item,” says Jobanptura. That's because there are often price differences between the same kind of item. A '60-inch television' has a wide budget range depending on whether the television is a top-of-the-line purchase or even the store's house brand.

What to add

We realize that the fancy stuff should be put into the home inventory but what else in the event you add? The Insurance Bureau of Canada has a list of items, together with a few you may not have thought about worthy:

  • Books
  • Musical instruments
  • Shelves
  • Rugs
  • Mirrors
  • Fragrances
  • Pots and pans

Once guess what happens items you want to document, what is the the easy way itemize your inventory? There are many options, each with its own group of pros and cons:

Create a video inventory. The pros to this technique is that it provides a visual inventory such as the make and model of each item. The con is it could be a very long video, meaning unless you're time stamping the video, you might be forwarding a long time looking to get to a specific item you need to make a claim for.

Use an inventory app. You will find dozens of inventory apps like MyStuff, Sortly and Magic Home Inventory where you can photograph, detail and itemize your inventory. The pro is that apps already are set up for inventory. The con is that an app may require you to definitely purchase a regular monthly subscription, particularly if you consume all the space that's given to you within the free version of the app.

Excel or Google files. This is actually the most basic option. The pro for this technique is that it's free. The con is it is the most labour-intensive, as you have to make an inventory template on your own.

It's about the details

Whatever method matches your needs (and you may make use of all three methods), Jobanputra recommends providing just as much detail and context as you possibly can when designing your inventory, because that will strengthen your insurance claim. Making a listing in advance is also useful when you are studying the stressful procedure for filing a claim and should not remember every detail of the item. “Photographs ought to be labelled and dated, and include detail on any customizations or aspects which add value,” she says. “The homeowner will include photos and/or videos of every room, including inside closets, storage buildings, attic, basement and garage. When making structural or cosmetic improvements to the home, it is also smart to include photos before, during and after the improvements are made, as well as any permits awarded for the authorized work.”

Other tips to remember when you make a listing list:

  • Don't list the sale price of an item – list the full value. That pertains to gifts, too.
  • Include your policy number(s) and insurance company's contact information so that you do not have to search for them.

Where to store your list

Once you have made or updated your home inventory list, where should you store it? Yes, you should definitely keep a copy in your own home on your pc and in a fire-proofed safe, but Jobanputra says that it's also wise to make additional copies to keep having a trusted family member or friend who doesn't accept you. Additionally, digital copies should be stored on a cloud drive such as Dropbox, which may be accessed anywhere. Finally, Jobanputra says copies ought to be filed together with your insurance professional, your lawyer or with your financial advisor.

Creating an inventory can take some time, especially if you own a large amount of stuff. Should anything happen, however, you will be glad that you're prepared and does not need to figure out what you have while you're filing a claim.