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February 16, 2016

How to take inventory for your home insurance

1 min read


Smart homeowners buy home insurance as soon as they buy a new home. Despite this, many homeowners make a common insurance mistake. They never actually perform a home inventory. The result is they often don’t receive the full value of benefits if they need to make a claim on their home insurance policy.

Avoiding this mistake is quite easy. All you need to do is perform a thorough home inventory of your valuables and update your home inventory regularly. By doing this, you ensure that you will be properly reimbursed if you ever need to file a claim on your home insurance.

Performing a home insurance inventory

Taking an inventory of your home might sound time consuming at first, but it is actually quite easy to do and well worth it. You simply need to follow these steps:

  • Go through your home one room at a time, including storage areas, the attic, the basement, and your garage.
  • Document every item of value in every room. Items of value include electronics, furniture, clothing, jewelry, sporting equipment, cabinetry, window and wall treatments, carpets, appliances, artwork, and collectibles.
  • Documentation should be both in the form of a written list and photos or video.
  • For written documentation, include the name of the item, the manufacturer / brand, serial number (if applicable), method of acquisition, date acquired, and approximate cost.
  • For photos or video, make sure to get a clear image of the item showing its condition.
  • Include photocopies of receipts or appraisals of valuable items in your home inventory, preferably attached to your inventory documentation.

Updating your home inventory

Once you have performed an initial home inventory, you have finished the majority of the work. Updating it is much easier. Simply document any new purchase or gift in the same way as you documented items during the initial inventory process.

Protecting your home inventory documentation

Your inventory won’t be particularly useful if it isn’t readily available when you need it. Protect your inventory documentation from theft, fire, or other catastrophes by storing it in a safety deposit box or a fireproof and waterproof safe. A safety deposit box is generally the better option since it is off-site.

An inventory today will save you stress tomorrow

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), the agency responsible for regulating insurance in the province, recommends creating a home inventory. The stress that comes with the type of events that cause claims on your home insurance makes it difficult for you to remember exactly what was lost, stolen, or destroyed. If you ever need to use it, you will be very glad you created a home inventory.

More expert insurance advice

The expert home insurance brokers at Mitch can find you the best home insurance at the lowest rates possible. For a no-obligation quote, give us a call at 1-800-731-2228 or email us at

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