If your home were to be the casualty of a fire or major burglary, do you know what it would cost to replace everything? According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 52% percent of homeowners have a home inventory,1 or a list personal possessions and their estimated monetary value.

A home inventory is a great idea, because let’s face it - post-catastrophe, most people forget how much they actually have. When it comes to securing the right homeowner’s insurance coverage, this tendency can translate into a huge liability that leaves you short of cash and your valuable possessions.

Luckily, technology has evolved to make the work of preparing an accurate home inventory more efficient. Numerous home inventory apps are now available help catalogue your valuables securely. They feature the ability to add photos, sort items by room, download into a PDF, spreadsheet or store on the cloud for easy access. Consider those that allow you to add a serial number, inventory your collects, their purchase date, SKU number and warranty expiration dates. Some will even allow you to create printable QR labels for boxes when you move. In times of trauma when you’ve lost it all, the ability to retrieve your inventory and file a fast and accurate insurance claim can be a major source of comfort.

Why is a home inventory important?

Cataloguing information about everything you own, including make and model, year of production and price paid for each item or appliance, can make it easier to determine the actual cash value versus replacement cost value of your possessions. This should also, in turn, inform your homeowner’s insurance coverage decisions. Bring your home inventory to your broker and use it to customize your coverage needs.

Home Inventories Aren’t Just for Homeowners

Renters would be wise to maintain a timely and accurate record of their possessions as well – in conjunction with their tenants’ insurance policy. Landlords and lessors are under little legal obligation to compensate tenants for damage or loss to their living space and belongings. There are way too many anecdotes of otherwise responsible renters who ended up with nothing after a fire or other catastrophe in their rental. Your HUB broker can use a home inventory to help secure the right coverage for your specific needs.

Other Uses for Home Inventories

An accurate inventory can also make future home sales and/or moving to a new home easier. When purchasing insurance coverage for a move, having an in-depth understanding of the value of possessions being handled is an advantage. Don’t let a moving company determine the worth of an item they damage during a move. In situations where real estate transactions include furnishings, knowledge of an item’s worth can be a huge market pricing asset.

Contact your HUB Personal Lines specialist for more information around creating a home inventory, and applying it to adjust your homeowner's or tenants’ insurance needs.