Disaster Insurance Claims: How to Take an Inventory of Your Home

March 13, 2020 | By:Neilson Marketing Services

If a fire or other disaster was to unexpectedly hit your home would you be able to have a clear recollection of all your possessions? With an up-to-date home inventory, you will be able to settle claims faster, verify losses for your income tax return and purchase the correct amount of home insurance.

Taking Home Inventory after a Disaster

A contained area, such as the kitchen appliance cabinet or your sporting equipment closet, is a great starting place to begin taking inventory. Since these are typically locations where specific items are stored, it can be easier to recollect what’s missing, what’s damaged, and what’s still there.

Recent purchases

You can also begin sorting through recent purchases. Once you sort through new items and get into the habit of taking inventory, you can then go back and take care of the older possessions.

General information

Describe each item you record with: 

  • Location of purchase
  • The make and model
  • What you paid
  • Any other details that might assist a claims process

Count clothing by category

Example: “5 pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of sneakers…” Make note of especially valuable items.

Record serial numbers

Serial numbers are typically found on the back or bottom of appliances and electronic equipment.

Check coverage on highly valuable items

Jewelry, art and collectibles may have increased in value, requiring special coverage separate from the policy. While taking home inventory, check with your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate protection for these items.

Keep proof of value

Be sure to keep sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals.

Using Technology

Technology can make creating a home inventory easier.


Create a photo record of important individual items as well as entire rooms, closets or drawers. Label your photos with what is pictured, where it was purchased, the make or model, etc.


Do a thorough walkthrough in your home, videotaping and describing the contents.

Use an app

There are many mobile apps available now that can easily assist in creating and storing a room-by-room record of your belongings.

Home Inventory Should be Up-to-Date and Safely Stored

Your home inventory is only useful if it is accurate and accessible in providing information to your insurance company in the event of fire, theft or any other destructive disaster. Always be sure to add significant new purchases to your list as soon as possible and keep your list backed up and in a safe place. Make at least one backup copy of your inventory document and store it separately (not in your home on your premises).

About Allegiant Insurance Services

At Allegiant Insurance Services, we specialize in providing personalized and tailored insurance solutions to fit your individual needs. We pride ourselves on providing cost-effective policies in the home, business and auto markets with a human approach. Contact us today at (858) 771-2000 to receive a free quote or to speak to a reputable and helpful agent.

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