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A guide to creating and maintaining your home inventory
Would you be able to remember everything you owned if your home was destroyed? Chances are you’ll remember big stuff like furniture and countertops — but it’s easy to forget smaller items, like appliances and cutlery, or things you don’t use very often, like your Christmas decorations. This is where a home inventory comes in handy.
What is a home inventory?
A home inventory is simply a list of personal belongings you keep in your home. It can be as simple as just jotting down everything you own sans details, or it can be in-depth enough to include the following info for each item:
- Date of purchase.
- Make, model or serial number.
- Place of purchase.
- Estimated cost of replacement.
These are just ideas. A simple list of what you own is better than nothing!
Why home inventories can be useful if you need to make an insurance claim
Referring to a home inventory will help if your belongings are damaged or destroyed in an insured event and you need to make a claim. It can also help you prove the value of certain items.
You want to be sure your sum insured will cover your home and belongings if catastrophe strikes, and properly valuing your items is a great way of knowing whether you’re underinsured. Unsure how to calculate how much insurance you need? Try our Home Contents Calculator to help you estimate the sum insured you may require.
AAMI provides a range of different Home Insurance options to fit a variety of different lifestyles and demographics. We provide new for old replacement too! So, if you need to replace an item, we’ll help you do so with a brand new one of the same type, standard and specification, or as close as we can find.
How to create a home inventory
You can categorise your home inventory however you like. You can do it by room, type of item, collection, etc.
And while you’re obviously not going to have receipts for everything you own, you can still provide a general count in large categories of items to help get an average value. For instance, six dresses, five blouses, five skirts and three pairs of shoes in a “clothing” category. Just make sure to note any valuable items, like an expensive suit or dress!
It’s important to note that there may be limits on what you can claim for a collection as a whole. For example, with AAMI Contents Insurance, a collection of memorabilia — think stamps or coins — has a limit of $5000 per collection, unless you choose to specify the full amount. For more info on limits, refer to the PDS.
Pay attention to high-value items
If you have designer watches and jewellery, or family heirlooms lying around, you should get an appraisal report for them. This means getting an expert to verify the item’s value. This way, if you have particularly high-value items you’ll know exactly how much to insure them for, and if any cover limits apply.
But be careful not to misplace it when you’re out and about! You’ll need to add optional Portable Valuables Cover for an additional premium if you want to cover your items for accidental loss or damage away from home.
Plain ol’ phone pics will do if you don’t have alternatives, but a solid home inventory typically features photos:
- taken in colour,
- labelled with dates, and
- that include the price and purchase date of the item (on a card placed next to it).
Store your inventory safely
If you’ve just created your first home inventory — congrats! But you’re not done just yet. Don’t forget about safe storage!
Make several copies and keep them in secure locations. We recommend having one physical copy in your home and digital copies on your devices. You may also want to send a copy to a trusted friend or family member to be extra safe.
Maintain your home inventory
Be it once a season, once a year, or even just when you buy new or expensive items, maintaining your home inventory is an important practice to get in the habit of doing. Regular updates will help you keep track of new items, and also allow you to remove items you no longer own.
Need to make a claim?
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.