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What is a home inventory, and why do I need one?

If you were asked to list everything in your home from memory? Chances are, you would stop forgetting one thing or two … right?

Well, if you ever have to file a homeowner's insurance claim after a fire or major disaster, you might be asked to do just that. Therefore, you need a home inventory.

A home inventory is exactly what it sounds like. It is a list of all your personal belongings, along with their estimated value. And it's a great way to protect the contents of your home.

Read more: How much does household insurance cost?

Calculating the replacement cost for walls, doors and windows is a fairly simple task. But even if the items in your home are covered, it may be more difficult to document the value of the baseball card collection or your favorite shoe.

It takes a little time and effort, but there are several reasons why a household inventory can give you peace of mind.

Why It Helps to Have a Home Inventory

  • Submission of a Claim Faster: When disaster strikes, it can be difficult to remember everything in your home that was lost or damaged. But if you have a home inventory, your work is already done. So you can spend your time on what's most important – get your life back on track.
  • Financial Support Application: After a disaster, you may qualify for some tax breaks or disaster relief. But without a list of your possessions, it becomes difficult to show your financial losses. A home inventory will make the process of proving what you have lost much easier. So to make a list now you can save yourself from piles of unnecessary paperwork later.

How to start with your home inventory

Creating a record of everything in your home probably sounds scary. But there is no need to be overwhelmed. Before you start digging through these boxes and cabinets, follow these tips to make your home inventory more manageable:

  • Select a starting point. Don't be overwhelmed and try to think of all things in your house at once. Instead, you try to start with your most valuable things, or work through your house one room at a time.
  • Take pictures or video. Capturing images of each object or recording a video in an entire room is a great way to document your objects. Be sure to tag your photos with additional information and tell the video to describe the content when you record.
  • Use an app. There are many mobile apps designed to create a room listing on your home inventory. Some have different features that let you take pictures, write comments, and back up all your information to the cloud. Sortly Memento Database and Nest Egg are some popular apps for home and business.
  • Categorize clothes. If they are not particularly valuable, you do not need to document each T-shirt or pair of pants. Instead, write "10 pairs of jeans" and talk your clothes into categories.
  • Keep your receipts. With documentation of your purchases, like a receipt or purchase order, it helps to give an exact value of their replacement cost.
  • Record serial number. Write down the serial numbers of your electronics and larger appliances is a good reference for insurers.

Erie Insurance wants you to sleep well at night, every night. And for us this means that you can feel safe about your home and the things you have worked so hard to get. So relax, know we have you, your home and your investment covered.

Do you want to make sure you have the right coverage for your home – and everything inside it? Find a local Erie Insurance Agent to start the call, or request a free homeowner's insurance online quote.

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