Home Insurance Inventory Service
By Eric Hammer
One of the biggest problems people face when a fire or a theft
happens is figuring out what was missing from their home. Be
it grandma's favorite painting or 6 pairs of socks burned up
in the fire, the more information they have on their home insurance
inventory, the better off they are in dealing with the insurance
Unfortunately for most people, though fortunately for you
if you choose to go into this business, very few people actually
know how to properly create an inventory of their home. The work
needs to be methodical, with each item being cataloged and a
value placed for the items. That's what a professional home insurance
inventory consultant can do for them.
You will spend at least a day and sometimes several days at
a person's home helping them to sort through everything they
own and estimate the value of the item. Alternatively, you may
also be hired by an insurance company to go and inventory specific
items that the policy holder may have mentioned on their own
home insurance inventory. For example, if particularly valuable
jewelry or antiques were listed, you may be sent to examine documents
attesting to value and to examine the actual objects themselves
to make sure the valuation are legitimate before a policy is
How Much Can You Make?
This business is still largely in its infancy since it's generally
not a required service when you sign up for a home insurance
policy (typically, you are only required to list the most valuable
items on the inventory, something most people can do themselves.
However, the handful of places we saw that do something like
this (see an example in resources) tend to charge anywhere from
around $200-$800 for a home visit, depending on the size of the
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Remember that most of your work will be with customers rather
than insurance companies. Most insurance companies have people
on staff to evaluate particularly valuable objects, so your services,
while they may occasionally be called upon if the insurance company
doesn't have someone who can do the job will most likely be done
for homeowners and renters.
Therefore, you need to be sensitive to the needs of your clients
and be both thorough and sensitive. Explain that it's important
to document everything and why. This way, they'll understand
that that's why you ask them to open each drawer of a dresser
for example, even though it may not be the most comfortable of
experiences for everyone. You can also explain that this is especially
important if they have expensive clothing which the insurance
company may not replace without proof. However, even underwear
and socks can be expensive to replace after a fire, so everything
really does need to be documented.
Remember also to use either a still or video camera to record
every aspect of a person's home. While your inventory in a spreadsheet
will be invaluable, the photo or video recording could easily
make the difference for a homeowner if the insurance company
balks at paying for something they claim the homeowner never
Make sure to record serial numbers for all electronic devices
and to note in detail all the information about particularly
valuable objects such as antiques or collectibles.
Finally, you can also offer a secure online service where
important documents and even photos can be stored. While most
things are replaceable after a fire, family photos and personal
information, such as social security numbers and bank account
numbers may be more difficult to even impossible to replace.
By offering a service where these things can be stored in a secure
online server (consider providing a service which actually stores
on a service like Amazon S3 - the cost of storage there is minimal
and the security level is stronger than almost anything you might
provide on your own), you can provide an additional service which
people will thank you for later in the event of a fire or flood.
Qualifications / Requirements
You need to have a keen eye for detail and be extremely patient
and diligent, however there are no other formal requirements
required in order to start a home insurance inventory business.
Start by taking an inventory of your own home and that of
several friends and neighbors. This way, you'll learn the ropes
of what to do. Then, start advertising your services online and
in flyers around the neighborhood.