The importance of taking an inventory of the possessions of your home cannot be overstated. However, very few households actually do so. While 93% of surveyed Canadians agree that having an up-to-date inventory is a good idea, only 35% actually have one. If you count yourself amongst this majority, you’ve got cause for alarm. What happens when your home is broken into or has sustained a major fire? Without a detailed home inventory, fully reporting your losses can be a big challenge.
With such a consequence, what’s keeping people from taking an inventory? Workload. It’s a somewhat daunting task to catalogue all of your possessions, especially if you haven’t done so for anything from the moment you moved into your home. In the past, the amount of effort required was a reasonably good excuse. But here in 2017 you’ve got unparalleled access to technology that will alleviate the stress, available right at your fingertips through mobile applications. Before you head on over to your app store, have a look at our top four picks and take the next step towards protecting your household from claim concerns.
4 Apps to Help You Account for the Possessions in Your Home
1. Home Inventory (Binary Formations LLC) – Mac / iPhone
The name is simple enough but Binary Formations have thrown it all into this app, including the kitchen sink which you can catalogue with ease. Home Inventory is the Mac App Store Editor’s Choice, has a 4.5-star Customer Rating, and has received accolades from the New York Times and Business Insider. Why the rave reviews?
The app seamlessly allows you to store important information about your possessions in one secure place. You can enter item descriptions, including model and serial numbers along with pertinent details such as the price paid at the exact date of purchase. You can upload photos, receipts, warranty information, and everything else that an insurance adjuster might want to know. But there’s more.
The app allows you to go above and beyond the direct necessity of a home inventory. It features an estate planning tool that documents your heirs, ensuring that catalogued items are attached to each person who would inherit them. The app also accounts for real time updates regarding your possessions, including notes pertaining to modifications and repairs along with maintenance scheduling that alerts you when the time comes for appliance upkeep. Do you tend to misplace owner’s manuals after you’ve purchased home electronics and the like? Feel free to throw them away once you’ve uploaded digital copies to the app.
In the event of a claim, Home Inventory expedites the process. It can be configured to deliver the information you need to file a claim and will validate the fairness of the claim. Its coverage analysis feature calculates whether or not you have the right amount of insurance. If you (and an insurance adjuster) can imagine it, the Home Inventory app has already thought of it. Mac users can download Home Inventory at the Mac App Store. Once you’ve purchased the app, you can download the complementary Home Inventory Mobile Backup version for your iPhone.
2. Sortly (My Things App Inc.) – iPhone
Another 4.5-star rated app available in the iTunes app store is Sortly. Heralded by Forbes, INC., and New York Post, this home inventory app is best known for its simplicity and superior visuals. While not as robust at the Home Inventory app above, Sortly makes perfect sense for condo-dwellers, frequent-movers, and those without the need to catalogue an excessive amount of possessions.
The app allows for easy organization via folders and sub-folders. Once set, you can upload photos, add tags, notes, attractive labels, and item information essential to claimants, including SKU/serial numbers, purchase dates, warranty expirations and more. It even has a fun (and necessary!) Track Lending feature that lets you record when you’ve lent an item to someone along with scheduled reminders to get them back.
All information can be uploaded to the cloud and/or Evernote, and exported via PDF and CSV files. You can try out the free app and decide to purchase a premium plan at the iTunes store.
3. Encircle (Encircle Inc.) – iPhone / Android
This top rated (4.5 on iTunes / 4.2 on Google Play) home inventory app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices alike. Known as a documentation tool capable of managing the requirements of property managers and insurance professionals, the app will certainly suit your needs as a residential occupant.
Encircle allows you to build a comprehensive visual inventory of your possessions specifically for homeowners insurance purposes. It also includes estate planning and relocation features, however its aesthetic appeal and flexibility allows you to tap into the app for more fanciful uses such as interior decorating and home design. Through a combination of photos, videos, sketches, notes, and labels you can manage room by room and property data to catalogue everything. Unlike other apps of this nature, there is no limit to the information (imagery, text, etc.) that you can apply to a single item and with one click or tap you can export it all to PDF or Excel.
4. Know Your Stuff (Insurance Information Institute Inc.) – iPhone / Android
Launched by the Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit organization with a mission to “improve public understanding of insurance”, the Know Your Stuff app asks you to take a full accounting of what you own. The award wining tool offers you a simple yet efficient way to record and securely store a detailed list of all your belongings, organized by room and property.
Thanks to the non-profit nature of this app, you get an ad-free experience, albeit it comes at the expense of aesthetics and other frills. In the end, if you’re looking for an app to simply record and archive your household items via text notes, photos, and receipts with downloadable reports for insurance claim purposes – Know Your Stuff is all you need.