Preparing a Home Inventory

As a responsible Florida or South Carolina homeowner, you purchased homeowners insurance to protect yourself in the event of home damage and auto insurance in case of an accident. You have hurricane shutters to protect your home during a hurricane. You may have purchased a home security system. However, now may be the time to take that next step. Prepare yourself in case you experience one of life’s biggest uncertainties — a major loss to your home.

We spend years acquiring those perfect items that make a house our home. If a major southeastern storm or a burglary damaged or destroyed your home’s contents, could you provide up-to-date information of all you owned to your adjuster? Preparing a home inventory before a loss occurs can help you better manage a very stressful event. After a large loss, many important issues will require your attention. Trying to list all of your possessions from memory may distract you from your most important task — your family’s safety and wellbeing.

What Method Should I Choose?

Preparing a detailed home inventory is not a formidable task if you break it down into steps. Begin by deciding on a method to record your possessions. If you plan to go electronic, you might begin by looking for software templates on the internet. The perfect template for your home or condominium may already exist. The easier it is to create an inventory; the easier it will be to update. With today’s technology, preparing your inventory may be as easy as recording a video with your cell phone or your camcorder. Others may keep a list on their computer or simply handwrite the information. Have you moved recently? Consider beginning with the inventory created by your movers.

A Few Tips for Your Inventory

These tips may help begin and manage your home inventory task.

  • Name the five most valuable items in your home; list the make and model of each item.
  • It may seem overwhelming to inventory your entire home. Taking it category-by-category or room-by-room may make the task less formidable. For example, list all your appliances. Then move on to list all your hand-held appliances like blenders and mixers. Inventory one room at a time. Begin with the room that has the most high-value items.
  • Scan receipts for your personal items into your computer or store them off premises. After a loss, your adjuster will often request receipts to help establish a value of your damaged or stolen property. Without scanning your receipts to preserve them, a major South Carolina or Florida storm event may destroy them.
  • If you decide to record a video, as you move through your home, provide a verbal description of each item including its make and model. Email the completed video or electronic file to yourself for safekeeping or store an extra hardcopy at your office or with a friend.
  • Group similar items together to simplify the task. For example, list “ten women’s blouses,” “two blenders” or “three pair of running shoes.”
  • If you have high-value items like vintage clothing, paintings or first edition books, list each of those items separately.
  • Keep your list updated. Establish an annual review date to ensure your list stays current.


Don’t Forget The Final Step — Reviewing Your Homeowners or Condo Coverage

Once you finish your inventory, you may want to review your homeowner’s policy. Do you need broader homeowners coverage? Are there limitations on specific items? You can improve coverage of your most valuable items such as jewelry, guns or collectibles with a special “inland marine” form on your condominium or homeowners policy.

Given coastal weather, if you have Florida insurance coverage or South Carolina insurance coverage, keeping a current home inventory is vitally important. For more information on how to conduct a home inventory or to discuss your coverage, call your Florida or South Carolina homeowners agent.

If you would like to learn more about Frontline® Homeowners Insurance from an agent in your community, please visit the Agent Locator page on our website. Our agents are always happy to provide a no-obligation quote for the Florida or South Carolina homeowner.

Please remember that the comments contained in this blog are general in nature and that coverage under any specific policy of insurance will depend upon the terms and conditions of such policy.