Protect your property with a home inventory

The threat of loss of property from fire, theft or other causes is always present. An accurate inventory and proof of ownership at the time of a loss can make claim settlement easier and faster. The inventory will take time to compile, but the time and frustration it may save you later will more than make up for it.

A good home inventory includes a detailed list of your possessions including receipts, descriptions and photos of your home’s contents. When it’s done, be sure to keep this inventory in a safe deposit box or other location outside your home.

Download a copy of the Protection Alarms Home Inventory 2.92mb

Tips for your Home Inventory

Record purchase dates and serial numbers of small appliances and the following theft-prone items:

  • Collectibles
  • Antiques
  • Art objects
  • Figurines
  • Guns
  • Paintings
  • Clocks
  • Silver
  • Jewelry
  • Furs
  • Electrical Appliances
  • Lawn mowers
  • Power tools
  • Sewing machines
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Electronic equipment
  • Computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Fax machine
  • Stereos and MP3 players
  • Televisions
  • Video cameras
  • DVD players
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Musical instruments
  • Photography equipment
  • Sports equipment
  • Along with the description of each item, attach its receipt, if possible.
  • If you’re making an audio or video inventory, start in one corner of the room and work your way around until the whole room has been covered.
  • Don’t forget closets, attic and basement.
  • On antiques, art, jewelry, collectibles, and certain other items, appraisals are important. Always include the name and address of the appraiser.
  • Remember to update your inventory when you make new purchases.
  • When it comes to a home inventory, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.


Tips for Home Inventory Photos

  • Use any color camera with a flash, your home video camera, or a digital camera.
  • Label photos and videotapes with the dates they were taken. If appropriate, record the date of purchase, brand name and purchase price of each item on the record card next to the picture.
  • If you have a film camera, have your developer save the images to a disk. You can store the print copies with a copy of your inventory.
  • If you have a digital camera, save the images to a disk or burn a CD.
  • To get an overall picture, take wide-angle shots of the whole room, and then take several close-ups to capture detail. Start in one corner of the room and work your way around.
  • Focus your flash away from mirrors and other reflective surfaces by standing at a 45-degree angle to the shiny surface.
  • When using a flash, try not to get closer than the recommended focus range. If you must get closer, dim the flash by placing a white handkerchief over the flash while taking the picture.
  • Open glass doors to prevent reflection.
  • A family member in the picture helps substantiate ownership.
  • Open closet doors to show quantity of clothing.
  • Take pictures of the insides of drawers with the contents fanned out.
  • Use a non-glare dark cloth as a background for silver, china or jewelry.
  • When photographing china, take a picture of the pattern name or manufacturer’s signature, along with a picture of the pattern.
  • When photographing jewelry, angle the flash to avoid glare.
  • When photographing or recording collections in albums, make sure the picture includes the entire page, along with close-up shots of the most valuable items. Make sure the pictures tie in with your home in some way.
  • Photograph your power tools, including detailed photos of the inside of your toolbox.
  • If you want to take only a few pictures, either take pictures of groups of your most valuable unappraised items, or record whole rooms with your most valuable and theft-prone items prominently displayed.

Download a copy of the Protection Alarms Home Inventory 2.92mb