How to Create a Home Inventory (For Renters, Too!)

Insurance is about protecting you, your car, your home, and your belongings. But you can’t have adequate insurance if you don’t know how much stuff you have. That’s why you need to conduct a home inventory. It’s really not too hard.

How to Create a Home Inventory

Go room by room and note the items in each room. Take photos with your phone and store them in a folder there.

Essentially, your items fall into one of six categories:

  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Clothing
  • Appliances and Kitchenwares (such as dishes and silverware)
  • Other household and personal items: a catch-all category that can include artwork, books, collectibles, tools, and more

Why a Home Inventory Is Important

The Insurance Information Institute estimates that half of all homeowners have not completed a home inventory. It’s highly recommended to complete a home inventory, as this will help you to further understand the coverage you have and whether it’s right for you, based on the value of your possessions. In addition, a home inventory can help you to be more fairly reimbursed when you’ve carefully documented your potential losses in advance.

If it seems like taking a home inventory is complicated, rest assured that there are tools and tips out there to make the process easier. It might seem difficult to determine a value for all of your possessions, but you can even use a home inventory app to complete the process.

CNBC tested out a variation of these apps and settled on two that proved helpful in documenting possessions quickly, as well as accurately, especially when it comes to more costly items.

Encircle is available for both Android and iOS. The app allows you to quickly and conveniently determine the items to be added to your inventory by organizing those items by room using photos. The app also includes listed replacements for specific items in order to better determine their value.  

Net Egg requires in-app purchases and is only available to iOS, but is more convenient for those with more valuable possessions to document in their item listing.

A home inventory only applies to homeowners, right?

Not at all. Renter’s insurance gives you the opportunity to inventory your belongings as well. The apps, recommendations, and precautions aimed at homeowners can also be used by those who have renter’s insurance coverage.

If you’ve been considering renter’s insurance, it might be a wise idea to take a closer look at your car insurance or another insurance policy as well. Bundling can be a cost and time-saving option, and help to give you peace of mind about your big-ticket items.

If you’re ready to ensure that you’re covering your areas of preparedness, click here for a free quote for affordable coverage.