MAINTAINING A HOME
How to create a home inventory for insurance
14 July 2021
In the aftermath of a fire, flood or other catastrophe, it’s tricky to account for everything you owned. Would you remember how much your valuables were worth? Would you even recall everything you had in your home? This is where a household inventory can help.
What is a home inventory?
A home inventory is a list of the personal items you keep at home, along with proof of their value. You might keep your home inventory low-fi, by recording info and attaching receipts to a notebook, or you could use a home inventory app or spreadsheet.
An up-to-date home inventory can be helpful for:
- keeping all your important docs in one place,
- calculating how much home and contents insurance you need to avoid being underinsured, and
- proving the value of your items in an insured event.
How to create a home inventory
Creating a home inventory for insurance is easier than it sounds. Here's where to start.
You could start your home inventory by listing things you’d normally expect to be covered by your contents insurance, like electronics or appliances. Once you’ve listed the big-ticket items, think about what else you’d like to include, such as jewellery or other valuable items. Less expensive items, like your socks and jocks, could be added up and included as a category. Even if you chip away at your list over time, an incomplete inventory is better than none at all.
Remember, although it seems tiresome to create a list, you’ll thank yourself in a worst-case scenario. Having a home inventory – even a simple one – makes it easier for us to help you get back on your feet.
However, list or no list, we’ll replace your belongings ‘new-for-old’ under Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance. This means if we can’t repair them, we’ll give you a replacement of the same type, specs and standards – or find something as similar as possible.
When you make a claim on your home and contents policy, you may need to provide proof of value and ownership documents. These could include receipts, valuations or photographs of your items. Ideally, the docs will contain this information:
- time and date of purchase
- location of purchase
- how much the item cost, and
- serial numbers for big-ticket items like appliances and electronics.
Taking photographs, or even short videos, is another useful way of recording the items in your home.
- Clear images with the item in focus are best. If it has a serial number or distinct markings, photograph these too.
- Take photographs of rooms or storage areas. Showing items in your home is another way of proving ownership.
- Try to store photographs or videos digitally, with a backup, to make sure they’re secure.
Check your cover for valuable items
Check in with your insurer to ensure you’ve got the right cover for valuable items. With a Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance policy, for example, you’ll need to specify the coverage you need for valuable items like artworks, jewellery and watches. If you don’t, they’ll be covered to an amount specified by us. It’s also worth noting that you’ll need to provide a minimum level of proof of ownership with a claim. For more detail, check out the Product Disclosure Statement.
Storing your home inventory
The type of home inventory you’ve opted for will determine how you store it. If you’ve gone for paper, keep it outside of your home and make sure you have a backup. You might take photos of it on your smartphone or photocopy it to store at a friend’s place. If your home inventory is digital, keep a backup on an external hard drive or via a cloud-based storage service.
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- A guide to insuring your engagement ring
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
Escape of liquid
This covers the sudden liquid leaking, overflowing or bursting from things like your fridge, washing machine, bath, toilet, fixed pipes (except agricultural pipes), gutters, swimming pool, water main, fixed cooling system or an aquarium.
We don’t cover damage caused by wear and tear or the gradual leaking of liquid when you’d be reasonably expected to be aware of the condition.