According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), only about 48% of homeowners prepared an inventory of their possessions to help document losses for their insurers over the past eight years. Having a home inventory speeds up the insurance claims process, and provides the information you need when claiming tax-deductible property losses on your tax return. It’s a great idea to complete your home inventory before you shop for homeowners insurance to ensure you select the right coverage amounts.
While the task of documenting everything in your home may seem like a daunting project, creating a home inventory is easier now more than ever. With a myriad of apps and tools available, the use of technology can simplify the process and provide you with an organized catalog of your belongings complete with pictures and often videos.
Popular Home Inventory Tools
- Know Your Stuff – The Insurance Information Institute offers this free application to create your inventory quickly and efficiently. This simple application allows you to document your items room-by-room and add pictures where needed. They also offer companion IOS and Android apps to make it easy to add items to your inventory anytime, anywhere using your phone.
- Encircle Inventory for Homeowners – This free app for IOS and Android provides homeowners with everything they need to complete their home inventory. Users have the ability to log items with as little or as much information as possible including the purchase date, price, model and serial #s of their items.
- My Stuff – Available for the iPhone and iPad only, this mobile app provides the ability to catalogue multiple locations making it a great tool for multi-residence families and property managers.
Find My Stuff in iTunes ($3.99)
- Nest Egg-Inventory – This app for IOS only includes a barcode scanner making item entry quick and easy. Using this colorful and intuitive tool, you can organize your items by category (electronics, clothing) or location (den, kitchen) and track warranty information.
Find Nest Egg Inventory on iTunes ($5.99)
- Home Inventory Organizer – Like many home inventory tools, Home Inventory Organizer allows you to back up your data and restore to a new phone or tablet. You can also export your home inventory list and send it directly to your agent when filing a claim. Use pictures of items and their receipts to fully document your home inventory.
Find Home Inventory Organizer on Google Play ($2.50)
Most of these tools will allow you to Export your inventory to Excel and PDF making inventory lists immediately available should you need to file an insurance claim. You can always go old-school and create a simple spreadsheet for every room with space to enter the name, brand, model, purchase date, warranty expiration date, price and notes for each item. Whatever you decide to use, a home inventory will prevent you from being one of the 52% of homeowners who won’t be able to provide the necessary information to their homeowners insurance provider should they need to submit a claim due to fire, theft or some other covered peril.