Taking a home inventory can greatly aide you in the event you ever need to file a claim on your homeowner's insurance. Although taking an inventory can be time-consuming, it can certainly be worth it if you ever need to rely on it for documenting a claim.
Beyond making a simple list of items covered under your policy, you may find it helpful to take pictures. Three to four pictures per room of your home are usually sufficient. If external structures are covered under your policy, you should also photograph those structures, as well.
For items that are particularly valuable, it is often a good idea to take close-up photos. Examples of such items might include artwork, jewelry, guns, coins, etc. In documenting your personal items, make it a point to provide a detailed description including serial numbers. You should also include the purchase date as well as the approximate value. For high-value items, you should be aware that you may be required to obtain a third-party appraisal to establish value. Receipts and copies of credit card statements can also help to establish value of expensive items, including electronics. Many people find that using an online spreadsheet can facilitate the recording process.
It is not uncommon for many people to keep their insurance inventories and photos in their homes, but this can be a mistake. If a major disaster should occur at your home, this documentation could be destroyed. For the greatest amount of protection, it is important to keep such records in a separate location, such as in a safety deposit box. A trusted family member's home would be another option. Wherever you choose to keep these records, it is important to ensure they are kept in a location where you can reach them in an emergency.
It would certainly be hoped that you never need to file a claim in the future. If the need does arise, a home inventory can provide the documentation you need to expedite the claims process and ensure you receive the full compensation to which you are entitled.