How to Prepare an Inventory of Your Home

You never know when a disaster may strike—but you can be prepared with a home inventory.

A home inventory can help you:

  • Buy the amount of insurance you need.
  • Get your insurance claim settled faster.
  • Verify losses for your income tax return.
  • Keep track of all the things you've accumulated over the years.

Getting Started - Creating a Plan

There are many ways to create a home inventory. It may seem hard at first to record information about everything you have in your house, but don't let that put you off. First, decide on a way to make an inventory that works for you. You can do it room by room, category by category (furniture, electronics, etc.), from newest items to oldest, or from most expensive purchases to less expensive ones.

Various Methods for Taking Inventory

There are different ways to make your list. You can write everything down in a notebook, for example. Or you can take pictures, writing information on the back of the photos or put information on your computer. If you have a video camera, you can walk through your house filming and describing the contents at the same time. If you have a personal computer, you can access free online software that makes creating and keeping a home inventory easy at http://www.KnowYourStuff.org.

Keep receipts when they are available and note the cost for the item, when you bought it and other information about the make and model.

Expensive items like jewelry and art work may need to be insured separately. Ask your insurance agent whether you need a floater for your homeowner's policy.

Store a copy of your inventory in a safe place outside of you home—with a friend or in a safety deposit box. (If your inventory is electronic, store it on a disk.) That way you'll be sure to have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. Also, whenever you make a significant purchase, remember to add the information to your inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.

Source: Insurance Information Institute Reviewed and Approved by: Federal Citizen Information Center (www.pueblo.gsa.gov/) National Consumers League (www.nclnet.org/) Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, USDA (www.reeusda.gov/)

Be Prepared with Comprehensive South Carolina Homeowner's Insurance

At Farm Bureau Insurance, we hope you never experience a loss of your home, but just in case, we want you to be prepared. Learn more about the various property insurance policies that we offer to our South Carolina members. With local agents, drive-in claim centers throughout the states, and a 24/7 Customer Service Call Center, we can quickly and fairly process your claim to help you get your life back on track after a loss.