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Itemized Contents List for Home Insurance Claim

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If you need to file a homeowners insurance claim, it is important that you accurately assess your home for damages. This means taking a look at your belongings to see what has been damaged and what is in need of repairs or replacements. Creating this list is simple when you know exactly what the insurance company is looking for. This becomes your home inventory, and you can create the list ahead of time to make the process easy if you do need to file an insurance claim in the future.

Key facts
  • Creating a contents lists helps you keep track of the belongings in your home
  • When you have this list, you will be able to determine what has been damaged
  • You can submit this list to the insurer when you are filing a claim

Why do you need a home inventory list?

Anybody can benefit from keeping a list of the items inside their home. This will protect you in case you experience a loss. Whether this comes as a result of an accident, natural disaster, theft, or other covered peril, you will be aware of all the items in your home inventory.

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  • Providing proof of a loss to your insurance company is important when you are trying to file a claim. Creating an itemized contents list is a very credible way to do this because you will have the chance to compare the list to the current state of your belongings.
  • Insurance companies require you to fill out a form detailing everything that was lost as a result of the peril. This can be difficult to determine when you do not know what you had to begin with. Creating an itemized contents list will keep track of this information.
  • It is recommended to create this list before an incident occurs because it will become an extremely useful point of reference for you to use. Taking inventory of what you own is a lot easier done when there is no already existing damage in place.

How to create an itemized contents list

There are a few steps to keep in mind when creating your list. This will allow you to stay organized and accurate as you track everything that you own.

  1. Begin by walking through your home and taking a look around. You can create folders that are either physical or digital to keep track of all the items. Organizing these folders by room is a great way to make sure you are taking everything into account.
  2. In each of the folders you create, you will make an individual list. This is where you will declare which items are located in which rooms. You will want to make note of personal belongings, electronics, appliances, furniture, decor, artwork, and collectibles.
  3. As you begin listing each item, you can include specific notes. This will detail things such as makes, models, and serial numbers if they exist. You can also list the value of each time you are listing. If possible, you can also specify where you purchased the item and when.
  4. If you have any receipts or documents that pertain to the items, you will want to include these in your list. This will help specify the details of the item and will give the insurance company an idea of what it is worth.
  5. Take photos in each area of your home as you are creating the home inventory. These photos will go into their respective folders. Having visible proof of the condition of the items is also going to work in your favor when submitting an insurance claim.
  6. You can take the previous idea to a more comprehensive level by actually recording videos of each room. This will give a wider scope of the area and can be stored in each corresponding folder.
  7. By contacting an appraiser, you should also get an appraisal. This process consists of a professional coming to your home and determining the value of your home while it is in good standing. You will have a clear idea of what it is worth prior to any unexpected incidents taking place.
  8. Once you have completed your home inventory list with all of the above documentation, saving a backup copy is recommended. This will ensure you have access to it in case you need it and will not lose it. If you need to update it at any time, you will be able to do this easily.
  9. As soon as you obtain new items or get rid of existing items, you should update the list right away. This will keep it current and will make it easy to maintain if you do need to make any changes. Having a current and updated list will further assist you in case you need to file an insurance claim.
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How a contents inventory list helps with homeowners insurance claims

Once you have your contents list and find a safe place to keep it, just remember that you have it ready in case you must file a claim. One of the most important aspects of filing a claim is having accurate information to back up your case.

Your insurance company will want any and all documentation that supports the claim and will further prove the damage that has occurred. It can be hard to do this when you did not create a list ahead of time, which is why keeping it updated is crucial.

You will easily be able to hand over a copy of your list to the insurer for their review. Not only will this support your claim, but it can also help it move along faster because of the point of reference this provides the insurer.

Having peace of mind is important, especially after the unexpected happens. With your itemized contents list, you will be confident in your due diligence because insurers like to know the homeowner has taken every preventative measure possible prior to an incident occurring.

How an itemized contents list helps you obtain insurance

Even if you do not currently have homeowners insurance, creating an itemized contents list is still a good idea. This can help you obtain a proper insurance policy with the right coverage limits in place.

  • Before settling on a homeowners insurance policy, having an idea of how much your personal property is worth is important. This will allow you to get enough coverage in place to prevent any losses due to insufficient coverage. You can speak to your agent about your list and the value of your items to find the best policy possible. If your personal belongings are worth a lot and include a lot of valuable items, it might make sense to get additional coverage with a personal property floater.
  • Your agent will appreciate having this list because they will be able to compare and contrast different policies for you quickly. Coverage limits can vary greatly, so having the list handy will cut through a lot of the guesswork that people often have to deal with when they are first obtaining homeowners insurance.

No matter how many items you have in your home and what they are worth, you will be able to secure the best coverage possible when you have a home inventory contents list. This is a simple way to protect your belongings in case a claim is necessary to file and will give you confidence in your insurance policy.

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Kristen Nadel has worked as an insurance agent for 4 years and has an extensive background in writing homeowners insurance content. She is also a published author residing in Oklahoma. Her creative spirit and tenacity for excellence allow her to stay inspired. Writing is more than just a task to her — it is a lifelong passion.
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