Why you need a home inventory and how to make one

A home inventory can be a useful thing to keep, but it’s often only in the wake of a fire or flood, when we need to refer to it, that we wish we’d found the time to make one.

A home inventory is a list of all of the items of value in your home. It can make buying insurance quicker and easier, as an inventory enables you to see exactly what cover you need. It makes filing a claim much simpler.

Having an inventory can also make it easier to see whether, in the wake of a catastrophe such as fire or flooding, you’re entitled to any kind of subsidy, disaster support or tax breaks.
A home inventory doesn’t need to be particularly high tech. Of course, you could use an Excel spreadsheet and filter by room, by value and by type of item, but a simple notebook and pen will suffice.

Often, at times of stress, it’s difficult to remember everything and, when it comes to making an insurance claim, the faster you can submit paperwork, the faster you can get back to normality. That’s why a home inventory can be so useful.

Start with a small space, where it’s easy to define anything of value. That could be the kitchen or even the garden shed. Take your inventory room by room.

Write down the room, the item, when you bought it, the make, model and serial numbers and what you paid (if you remember). Add new purchases as and when you make them.

Make sure any valuable items, such as bikes and jewellery, are covered by your existing insurance –sometimes these have to be listed separately to be covered, if they are covered at all.

Take photos of any unusual items or even do a walk-through of your house on video, identifying items as you go.

If you’ve chosen to record your home inventory digitally, back up your inventory to the cloud or an external hard drive. If you went for a notebook and pen, photocopy it and keep a copy with a friend or family member.

In the event of a fire or flood, your first call should be to your insurance company. They will assess the damage and your needs and recommend you contact a fire or flood restoration professional such as Rainbow International. Once you’ve got the go-ahead to instruct a fire or flood restoration company, you can call our 24/7 hotline on 01624 422 488 to get help and support as quickly as possible. With over 60 branches of Rainbow around the UK, we’re bound to have a branch near you.

21/11/19