Home inventory: How to create one. A home inventory lists everything you own, with each item's value. Imagine needing to list every possession in your home or apartment, along with each item's worth after your belongings have been stolen or destroyed in a fire or natural disaster. Your homeowners or renters insurance policy is up for renewal and you want to help ensure your stuff is covered? That task may seem impossible so it is best to make the list before you need it. Below we've answered your basic questions on why and how you should create a digital home inventory. Why do I need an inventory of my home or apartment? A home inventory can be used to help you make coverage decisions. It also can simplify filing an insurance claim in the case of lost or damaged possessions, help secure a settlement, and prove useful when verifying property loss for taxes. Meet Mary Knapp, survivor of the Jesusita Fire of 2009 in Santa Barbara, CA, and Irene Henry, her State Farm® agent Your browser does not support this video. 05-15-2019 Video Transcript Home Inventory How To Create One 00:02 [Music] 00:16 hi Irene Henry I'm here today in Santa 00:19 Barbara at Stearns Wharf lovely 00:22 mountains in the background it is you 00:23 know it's a high fire area we are in 00:30 Santa Barbara fire station and one of 00:33 the things that's really important to do 00:34 is doing updated or do one if you've 00:37 never done it an inventory of the 00:39 contents of your home whether it's 00:41 taking pictures or video with your 00:43 smartphone or simply writing down your 00:45 inventory lists so if and when you have 00:47 a claim you have documented proof of the 00:50 items that you own it's very important 00:52 to make your claim smoother and easier 00:55 to process the fire came across from 01:02 Mission Canyon they used to see two fire 01:04 and it jumped over here this way 01:21 [Applause] 01:22 [Music] 01:32 this really triggers your mind into 02:00 silverware plates this is so much in the 02:05 kitchen especially you could never write 02:08 it down easily I agree 02:26 ready to go yeah I'm ready to go take 02:28 the backup drive it's in the clouds but 02:31 this is a lot easier to have and it 02:33 feels good to have it with you so in 02:36 1978 my husband having graduated from 02:39 UCSB the local school here I wanted to 02:42 stay so he purchased some land and I 02:45 started building the house we moved in 02:47 in the 80s and then may 7th hit 2009 and 02:55 I hate to see the fire went through a 02:59 canyon well I was actually nearby at a 03:02 friend's house and I started hearing 03:04 sirens 03:06 copters we thought oh they're gonna get 03:08 this out but we're leaving anyway it's 03:10 never been our attention to ever stay 03:12 because we're so well insured it we were 03:15 able to comfort the children by saying 03:19 here you go go get what you need and 03:21 within I think three months were already 03:25 with building permit in hand we just had 03:28 a positive experience we know where 03:29 State Farm was where checks were being 03:32 cut for immediate expenses and life was 03:35 great we were gonna be able to survive 03:38 we one girl finishing high school one in 03:41 college so during the rebuild we have 03:44 two in college and family living with us 03:48 building the house we were able to take 03:51 our time and move from our rented house 03:54 estate farmers taking care of into our 03:57 new home I was able to have furniture 03:58 delivered to the new home while still 04:00 being in the rented house everything was 04:02 was unbelievable it was just so smooth 04:05 and that's being prepared thanks 04:08 Lorraine and we're able to communicate 04:10 with Irene when I say hey I don't 04:13 understand this she explains it 04:15 [Music] How do I create a home inventory? According to the Insurance Information Institute, you can start creating a home inventory by following these steps: Record possessions as you pack to move into a new place. When moving to a new apartment or home , take a couple of extra minutes to record the belongings in each room. Pick one area at a time to record. You can start with a hall closet or small kitchen cabinet. Then, after capturing your belongings in that room, move on to the next. Record each item as you redecorate. Whether you are redecorating your apartment or a room, note each purchase you make and save the receipts. It will give you a jump start on your home inventory. Record recent purchases. Get into the habit of recording new purchases. Then, as necessary, go back and record your older, undocumented possessions. Along with the record, be sure to store sales receipts and appraisals (including the appraiser’s name and address) to help verify the value of each item. Record important information. Provide a general description, where you bought it, the make and model, and what you paid for the item. Include the serial number if the item has one. Record the number of each clothing type. List, for example, "five pairs of jeans, three pairs of sneakers…" Make note of items that are especially valuable. Include stored items as well. Things kept in your basement, attic, garage and other detached structures may not be at the top of your mind; however, you should record those items as well. If you have items in a self-storage unit, make sure to include them as they are usually covered under your home insurance policy. Use technology to create your digital home inventory. Take pictures. Capture important individual items as well as entire rooms, closets or drawers. Label your photos with what's pictured, where you bought it, the make or model, and the serial number. Take video. Walk through your house or apartment recording and describing the contents. For example, you might describe the contents of a kitchen cabinet: "Poppies on Blue by Lenox, service for 12 that includes a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, cup and saucer, purchased in 2015." Use an app. There are many mobile app options that can help you create and store a room-by-room record of your belongings. Finally, store your home or apartment inventory in a fireproof safe, safety deposit box or digitally in the cloud. You can even email your inventory to your insurance agent. This has the added value of allowing your inventory to be examined by your agent to see if you need extra home or renters coverage or adding a Personal Articles Insurances policy.