Keeping an Inventory

When insuring property, commercial or personal, it can be highly beneficial to create an inventory of all your items. There are many advantages to keeping a schedule of your items, and taking inventory can be aided by technology.

Homeowners, Condo-owners, Renters, and businesses all have something in common—they have a lot of stuff! Now, the items may be a bit different for each, but the need to list these items is vital for all of them.

Why should I make a list of my possessions?

  • Making a list of your items will help determine the amount of personal property coverage to initially obtain
  • In a claim, an inventory can speed up the claims process, getting you paid sooner
  • In a claim, an inventory will ensure you get completely and accurately reimbursed for your loss
  • After a catastrophe, you will need to quantify your losses to qualify for tax breaks or disaster assistance.

So how do I do it?

Though it may seem overwhelming to keep track of all the items you have, know that even a partial list is better than no list as all, and the list can be organized however you see fit. You could organize it by highest cost item to lowest, by room, by most recent purchase, by item type, or any way you find intuitive.

Taking inventory can also be aided by technology. Apps such as the Insurance Information Institute’s ‘Know Your Stuff’ app allows you to write down the item location, category of item, item name, item’s make, and the item’s model. It also allows you to take a picture of each item. The information is then synced to their website where you can easily access it from anywhere with an internet connection, keeping it safely stored online.

If you decide to make a list by hand or in a spreadsheet, make sure to save a copy of it outside of the home, perhaps at work, a family member’s house, or a copy saved to a Cloud database. Also, you may find it beneficial to store other important information with your inventory list. Some useful information to save would be a copy of you and your family’s legal documents, financial records, passwords, and PINs for bank accounts.

Creating a list of your items can seem to be a very daunting task. Maintaining it will be an ongoing process as well, but remember that a partial list is better than no list at all, and that keeping a list will make sure you get the full use out of the insurance coverage you bought!


Colten Zamrzla, CPCU

Colten first started in the insurance industry in 2010. He then pursued a Bachelor's degree in Finance & Insurance from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Once graduated, he immediately started studying for the CPCU and achieved it in just shy of a year. He is solely focused on commercial insurance, able to assist all types of businesses and nonprofits in risk management.

Colten has dedication and passion for his clients and the insurance industry as a whole. He dedicates time to furthering his knowledge on all things business and insurance, and he volunteers for the Independent Insurance Agents of Nebraska, a state-based trade association.