Creating a home inventory list
Can you rattle off a list of everything you own? Sure, the big things may come easily, like your fridge and lounge furniture. But it’s easy to overlook the smaller things, like those one-purpose appliances or once-a-year items like Chrissy decorations.
That’s where a home inventory list comes in handy.
Why you need a home inventory list
Accurate insurance cover
Choosing a dollar figure off the top of your head to represent what all your stuff is worth can be overwhelming. A home inventory list makes this easier – whether it’s just a jot-down of everything you own without detail, or a more in-depth document with things like receipts and photos.
Such a list helps you avoid becoming underinsured – which can creep up on you over time as you add items to your home.
If you’re unsure how to calculate how much insurance you need, AAMI’s Home Contents calculator can help.
Efficient claims process
Having a pre-prepared list of items, along with their value, can make the claims process more efficient. As long as the evidence of value isn’t out-of-date, using your list to help source replacements or determine the amount of a cash payment should be pretty straightforward.
Plus, having a home inventory list can help identify certain items that may have flexible limits – like a collection of old vinyl records. With AAMI, they have a limit of $1,000, unless you choose to specify the full amount on your certificate of insurance. For more info on limits, refer to the PDS.
How to create a home inventory list
Categorise your contents
Whether you go room by room, by type of item, or on a collection-based system, you can categorise your list however suits you best.
You (most likely!) won’t have a receipt for everything you own, but don’t worry! You can still get an average value in categories where you may have loads of items – like a wardrobe. If you can collect receipts for a few different pants, shirts and shoes, you may be able to get a rough idea of the whole lot. Just make sure to note any valuable items, like an expensive suit or dress!
Pay attention to high-value items
For particularly valuable items like watches or jewellery, or even something like an old family heirloom for which you probably don’t have any receipts, getting in touch with a valuer may be helpful.
Having their value verified by an expert means you’ll both know exactly how much to insure them for, and make them easier to replace if necessary. Plus, it’ll be easier for you to know whether you need to specify items on your certificate of insurance.
Make notes of descriptions and values
Any added details can help demonstrate ownership, establish value and expedite claims. These can include:
- date of purchase
- make, model or serial number
- place of purchase
- estimated cost of replacement
- photos, and
- similar items' value for reference
Cover your items on-the-go
Be careful not to misplace items when you’re out and about – especially those that tend to come along with you, like a phone or wedding ring. If you want to cover your items for accidental loss or damage away from home, you’ll need to add optional Portable Valuables Cover for an additional premium. Read the PDS for details.
Storing your home inventory safely
Digital or physical
Now that you’ve got your list sorted, you’re nearly done. Don’t forget to store it safely!
It’s better to have more than one copy, stored in secure locations. That could be with a trusted friend or family member, or even a safe or a bank. Better yet, go digital and keep a copy in the cloud or on a storage device – whatever you choose, just make sure it’s safe!
Make regular updates
Okay, “nearly done” may have been a stretch – maintaining and updating your home inventory list frequently is a good habit. Regular updates will help you to keep track of new purchases and allow you to remove items you no longer own.
That way, your insurance – and its cost – can better reflect your needs.
Need to make a claim?
- Fill in your policy details.
- Tell us when and where the incident occurred, and what happened.
- Enter the details of any damaged items.
- Upload any relevant pictures and documents.
- Submit your claim.
Once your claim is submitted, a claims consultant will contact you to progress your claim and discuss any applicable excesses.
- Are outdoor living areas covered by home insurance?
- What can be included in Home and Contents Insurance?
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.