Having a reliable home inventory, including electronics, jewelry and other valuables, is an important part of home ownership. When it comes to keeping your home safe from floods, fire, natural disasters or home invasion, you’ll want to make sure that if something is lost, stolen or damaged, you’ll be able to alert your insurance policy as well as the police. You may have filled out a brief inventory when you initially signed up for your insurance policy, but most likely you’ve added to your home inventory and it’s important to keep track of details like serial numbers and replacement costs. Aside from home damage or burglaries, a home inventory can be important for estate planning purposes. And when disaster does strike, you’ll want to have an accurate replacement cost assessment to make sure you’re getting the money you need to replace your goods and electronics.

First check with your insurance agency

Some insurance agencies have their own home inventory management systems to encourage homeowners. Before purchasing or installing an independent software system, you might want to first check with your home insurance agency and see what they offer.  Here are some insurance agencies with software or app systems:

Allstate Digital Locker

State Farm Home Index

Liberty Mutual Home Gallery

Home inventory apps and software

There are many free applications or software management systems that can help you keep track of your belongings. The best systems will allow multiple details for each item. Image uploads, barcode scanning, purchase price, replacement cost, serial numbers and other data is important when filing an insurance claim. For a more comprehensive comparison, try looking at this inventory software review chart. Here are some companies to start comparing:

Home Inventory Pro

Home Inventory App

Know Your Stuff

MyStuff2 Pro

Inventory Buddy

Nest Egg

Other ways to organize your home inventory

There are other ways to keep track of your home inventory. You can certainly keep track of images and receipts, as well as serial numbers and descriptions. You can use something simple like an Excel document or Google Docs, or keep track of goods using hard copy. The disadvantage of hard copy is that it might actually become damaged or lost, along with your belongings. It’s important that whatever system you use, it’s one that can be easily accessed, even from afar, and sent to your insurance agent for quick processing. Following a natural disaster or home invasion, it’s easy to feel confused and disorganized. If you have questions about the best way to present a home inventory to your insurance agency, it’s a good idea to call them first and discuss your options. Other ways to document your home inventory can include:

  • receipts
  • video
  • photos
  • serial number, make and model
  • spread sheet recording cost, date of purchase, place of purchase, etc.

Top image credit: Fire damage restoration project by Restoration Specialists