Smart homeowners take the time to properly document their belongings when applying for an insurance policy. Rushing through the documentation process, guessing at values or failing to document all your valuables, could result in losses for homeowners if there is a fire, theft or storm damage. These tips might help you to understand the basic requirements for inventorying personal belongings for a Texas homeowners insurance policy.

Purpose of Home Inventories

Essentially, a home inventory provides documentation and proof of all personal possessions, their condition and values. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to provide an accurate inventory to an agent, which helps to determine coverage requirements and insurance limits.

Ideally, the best home inventories include a detailed inventory, receipts and photographs or videos of all items to be insured.

Home Inventory Benefits

Homeowners and insurance agents both benefit from complete and accurate home inventories.

  • Homeowners have a current and complete inventory of all their personal belongings and the value of each item.
  • The insurance company has a realistic list of what you own, proof of the condition and value in case possessions are damaged, stolen or demolished in a named disaster in the policy.
  • Having an accurate record of all your personal belongings helps to assure you’ll be purchasing the proper amount of coverage.
  • Taking home inventories helps you to decide whether to choose insurance for cash value or to consider replacement costs.

Recording Personal Property

Including digital photos or videos of all your personal belongings helps to provide a clear image of each piece for insurance. You might use digital cameras to take photos, and consider taking photos from different angles if the item is exceptionally valuable.

Most people take photos or videos of each room separately. This helps to verify the items are physically located in various rooms throughout the home to be insured.

Creating Personal Property Inventories

Documenting your personal items can be time consuming. However, it can pay off if you end up having to make a claim in the future. A complete Texas homeowners insurance inventory should contain information such as:

  • A full description of each item, which includes the room where it’s used, stored or displayed.
  • Manufacturer.
  • Serial number.
  • Model.
  • Cost.
  • Purchase date.
  • Receipt.
  • Video footage or photographs.


It is a great idea to get valuables, one-of-a-kind pieces, antiques, artwork, memorabilia and jewelry appraised by a professional, so you and the insurance company know their true value. In some instances, you also might consider adding a rider to your policy for expensive items that aren’t covered within standard policy limits of your Texas homeowners insurance policy. A new internet resource for obtaining a homeowners insurance policy is at

Storing Home Inventories for Future Claims

After completing your Texas homeowners insurance inventory, you’ll give one copy to your insurance carrier and keep one for yourself as a backup. Ideally, the smartest place to store your written documents, photos and appraisals is in a safety deposit box.

Storing this valuable information at another location other than your house is very important. If a tropical storm or hurricane should severely damage your house in Texas, you don’t want your inventory proof to be destroyed as well as your personal items.

Updating Home Inventories

After completing your initial inventory, make sure you document all new purchases and delete items that you no longer own. This helps to assure that all your home inventory records remain current with your carrier.