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How to create a home inventory for insurance

Creating a home inventory doesn’t need to be a chore, and it could come in handy if your home is affected by an insured event like a fire or flood.

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 is useful for a few reasons. Not only will it keep all your important documents in one place, it’ll help you calculate how much home and contents insurance you need, so you’re less likely to be underinsured.

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How to create a home inventory

Start small

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. And don’t forget to add new purchases to the list!

Record details

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.

If you’re a Suncorp customer, you can take advantage of the DigitalSafe feature on the Suncorp App. Use it to upload and organise photographs of important documents and contents. And keep a backup. If you change phones, or delete or upgrade your app, you could lose the documents.

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Take photos

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 pages 65 to 67 of 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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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.

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