Why it can pay off to create a home inventory
- A home inventory may help verify what you had and its value if there’s a loss and you have to request reimbursement under Airbnb’s Host Guarantee or from your personal insurer
Gather as much documentation as you can, especially for items with a high financial value
Our homes tell our stories, and some belongings mean a lot to us. But in the rare event that your possessions were damaged, would you be able to recall in detail every item you owned and its monetary value?
Creating a home inventory is a crucial step in making sure that you’re prepared for anything—from spills on the sofa to more serious incidents like theft, water damage, or fire. This is because documentation is required whenever you file a reimbursement request under Airbnb’s Host Guarantee* or a property damage claim through your insurer.
Assessing everything you own may seem daunting, but a three-step approach can help:
Step 1: Choose a format
While a pen and paper will do, it’s most efficient to use a smartphone or tablet that allows you to capture notes, photos, and video in one place. There are also many mobile apps that allow you to create, organize, and store your home inventory.
Step 2: Go room by room
Choose a room to start in and list everything that’s inside. Take photos of each item. You can also tour your home and capture video footage of each item while you talk about it.
Be specific, but it’s okay to group similar items, like a series of books or set of dishes, as appropriate. If you don’t know where to begin, start with items that have the highest financial value, like jewelry and electronics. If you have jewelry, electronics, or other valuables, consider storing them in a locked room, closet, safe, or storage facility, or you can leave them with family or friends.
Describe the item and note its condition, approximate age, estimated value, and whether you have documentation of its value (like a receipt, online order/purchase confirmation, or a credit card statement). For high-value items, you should also list the make, model, serial number, and any other details you have, like when and where it was purchased.
Step 3: Upload documentation
Once you’ve gathered your documentation, upload it to a secure location where you can access it anytime, anywhere. If you have hard copies of manuals, appraisals, or invoices—or a pile of fading receipts—now is the time to scan and store them digitally.
After you’ve uploaded your home inventory, keep it top of mind. Update it each time you acquire something new or valuable, and review it thoroughly at least once a year.
What to do if property damage occurs
If property damage occurs while a guest is staying at your place, you may be eligible for reimbursement under Airbnb’s Host Guarantee*. It provides up to $1,000,000 USD in protection in the rare event that your place or belongings are damaged by a guest during an Airbnb stay. Learn how to request reimbursement for property damage
Your personal insurance policy may offer limited coverage while you’re hosting an Airbnb guest—or none at all. Talk to your insurer to learn more.
We hope you never have to use your home inventory, but taking the time to create one now could help you recover financially if the unexpected occurs.
*Airbnb’s Host Guarantee doesn’t apply to hosts who offer accommodations through Airbnb Travel, LLC, hosts in mainland China, hosts in Japan, hosts of Airbnb Experiences, or hosts of Airbnb Adventures. It is not an insurance policy, and not all property damage caused by guests is within its terms. Hosts are encouraged to purchase personal insurance that will cover property damage not protected by Airbnb’s Host Guarantee.
Information in this article may have changed since publication.
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