How to Create a Home Inventory

A house becomes a home the moment your loved ones walk through the front door. But your possessions are important too — they reflect your style, memories, passions and dreams.

An organized home inventory that records your possessions and their value will help your American Family Insurance agent protect what matters most. You’ll also be prepared if your home is damaged, allowing you to more easily and quickly settle claims and report losses on tax forms.

10 Steps to a Home Inventory

  1. Start with a folder — physical or on a computer — for each room in your house (don’t forget halls, closets, utility rooms and storage sheds). American Family’s DreamVault is a free app anyone can use to easily upload photos and descriptions of their belongings. Use DreamVault to categorize your possessions and access your home inventory anytime from your computer or smartphone.
  2. List each item in each room, including furnishings such as window shades and flooring material. For closet or cabinet contents, count the items in each category (e.g. games, blankets, sheets, shoes, shirts, dresses, coats).
  3. Add notes that describe the item more fully (measurements, material, etc.). Include the make, model and serial number when you can. Remember to include furnaces and air conditioners.
  4. Add the store and year purchased (if it was a gift, simply say so).
  5. Finally, list cost or value.
  6. Include sales receipts and paid bills, if you have them.
  7. Take photos of everything, including cabinet and closet contents.
  8. Include appraisals for jewelry, art, musical instruments and collectibles.
    Note: These items may need to be insured separately.
  9. Attach your latest home appraisal.
  10. Make a video tour of your home to bolster proof of your home’s contents. Make sure the video has an accurate date stamp and remember to record inside closets, small rooms and cabinets.

Tips to Keep Your Inventory Accurate

Secure your list. Keep your home inventory in a secure location. If it’s a physical document, store it in your safe deposit box and place a copy somewhere else. If it’s digital, make sure to back it up and keep a copy on a thumb drive (stored in your safe deposit box) or online storage account. You can also forward a copy to your agent. If using American Family’s DreamVault, your inventory will always be securely stored in the cloud.

Keep it current. Update your list regularly and include significant purchases (e.g. new furniture, additions, remodeling) while the details are fresh in your mind. If you get rid of something, update your inventory. Don’t forget that when you remodel your home, you likely will need to update your inventory.

Share Your List With the Person Who Cares Most

When you’ve finished your home inventory, you may realize you need to update your home insurance to appropriately cover those personal possessions. Your American Family Insurance agent is always ready to help review your list with you to best protect the things that bring your dreams to life.

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Related Topics: Home DIY , Home Insurance , Owning A Home