How to make a home inventory for contents insurance

Contents insurance can help cover loss or damage to your belongings due to an insured event. But when making a claim, listing all your lost or damaged belongings can be time consuming and stressful.

How can a contents insurance list help?

It’s generally a good idea to write up an inventory list of contents items within your home. That way, if your contents items are damaged by an insured event and you need to make a claim on your contents insurance, you can quickly and easily provide proof of ownership and value to your insurer, and make the claims process run as smooth as possible. A contents inventory can also be particularly useful if you have collectibles and unique items insured.

Just remember to keep your inventory up to date whenever you buy or sell something and consider setting an annual reminder to keep it as current as possible.

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What is a home inventory list for contents items?

From things such as Grandma’s antique jewellery to the hand-me-down family rug, it’s important to note any items, including furniture, and personal belongings in your home.

Ideally, consider including the following for the items in your inventory list:

  • A description.
  • The time, date and cost of the purchase (a receipt can be helpful for this and can be used as a form of proof of ownership and value).
  • For some items, such as antiques, it may be useful to get a professional valuation (valuations can also be used as proof of ownership).
  • A serial number, if it’s an electronic appliance or item.
  • Photographs.

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How to create your home inventory list

Take photos

Start with the easiest step – take photos of all your belongings, regardless of their value. As you do, make notes of the especially important or valuable items.

When you’re taking photos ensure they are:

  • in natural light to avoid glare,
  • from multiple angles, and
  • capturing important details such as signatures, engravings and serial numbers.

Assign by category

Whether you’re showing that you have eight golf clubs or thirteen pairs of expensive shoes, it’s important to make sure you fit these into respective categories. For example:

  • sporting equipment
  • decorative goods or collections
  • jewllery
  • electronics
  • appliances
  • clothing, or
  • categorising by room.

Regardless of the category names, make sure you note any valuable items so you can review them alongside your policy. That way, you can decide if you have the right coverage for your needs while being aware of your policy’s terms, including limits or exclusions.

Keep proof of value and ownership

Some forms of proof of value and ownership can include things like:

  • a purchase receipt
  • a valuation completed by a professional
  • photographs, or
  • an owners’ manual.

It’s a great idea to keep all your inventory information in one spot, including the receipts. A digital document or folder is an easy way to do this.

Review your insurance policy details regularly

By reviewing your contents insurance policy regularly, you can consider if you’re paying for the coverage you need for your contents, which may help reduce the risk of being underinsured. This is particularly useful if you’re insuring your contents with GIO and own high-value contents items that have flexible limits, like jewellery, hand-woven rugs, works of art, and more. See the PDS for more details..

With GIO Contents Insurance, some contents items have flexible limits allowing you to increase the limit for those items by specifying them on your policy for an extra premium. You will need to tell us that you want to do this and how much you want to insure the item for. If you don’t, the most we’ll pay for the item is the limit shown in the Product Disclosure Statement.

For example, jewellery and watches have the following limits depending on your level of cover:

  • Classic - up to $2,000 per item or set, up to a total of $4,000.
  • Classic Extras - up to $3,000 per item or set, up to a total of $10,000.
  • Platinum - up to $10,000 per item or set, up to a total of $40,000.

For more information on what is and isn’t covered by your policy including limits, conditions and exclusions that apply, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement. If you need to update your policy, simply log into GIO Online Services or the GIO App.

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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. 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.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.