What Belongings Should I Document For Home Insurance?

You need to document your possessions if you want them to be covered under your home insurance policy. But how far should that extend? What needs to be documented?

The short answer: Everything.

That said, some things should be documented more extensively than others.

You want to have a document of all your possessions, because all those little things might not seem to be worth covering. But when you've lost them all in a fire, the losses start adding up, and you'll be glad you have documentation.

Now, filing paperwork for every single Blu-Ray you have — or every single book on your shelf — might sound like an insurmountable task. When it comes to situations like this, your insurer might be happy with simple video or photo documentation. A video document is great because you can narrate the video while you give a tour of the house. You can explain what you're filming, and anything you forget to mention will be caught on video. You will want to talk to your insurer about whether this will be sufficient documentation. For many providers, it will be.

For more expensive items — such as TVs and silverware collections — you'll want to file receipts and photos. Serial numbers always help when it comes to electronics and appliances.

While documenting your possessions, don't forget the garage, closets, storage sheds, and all the items you tucked out of the way under the bed.

Oftentimes, the payout for a home insurance claim is not a precise, to-the-penny payment for every single loss. Instead, it’s a rounded estimate. It can be difficult to prove the exact value of your possessions, even if you do have a receipt for every single item. This is the case because of inflation, depreciation and similar financial and economic concepts. Put simply: Your insurer probably knows how much a Blu-Ray costs to replace. But they might not know how much your art collection or antique armoire is worth.