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It’s not required that you have a list of your possessions to purchase a homeowners or renters policy, but it’s certainly a good idea. Both types of insurance come with a portion that provides protection for your personal belongings. Renters insurance will allow you to choose a coverage amount. A homeowner’s policy will typically cover your personal belongings for a percentage of your home’s value.

For example, if your home is worth $250,000 and covers your possessions at 10% of your home’s value, you’ll only have $25,000 coverage. While this may be enough to the entire house for some people, for other it may not. Although it’s not required, making a list of your possessions is a good way to determine if you have enough coverage. Now, making a list doesn’t require you to list every single trinket on your shelf and include the original price. It’s okay to make estimates and it’s a good idea to include things that you really can’t live without.

First, list large items like your sofa, bed, and appliances, especially if you’ve upgraded on your own dollar. Next, consider items like clothing, sheets, towels, and dishes. Most of us accumulate items throughout the years so it’s easy to forget just how much we’d miss having forks to eat with. Once you’ve come up with an estimated value of each room’s items, tally up your entire house. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your personal items add up. Then, double that amount and you’ll have a rough idea of just how much coverage you need. Don’t forget attics, basements, and garages either. If you have very valuable items, like jewelry, fur coats, or collectibles, speak to your insurance agent about scheduling these expensive items. It may cost more, but is well worth the expense to protect your possessions.