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How to Create a Photo Inventory of Belongings for Moving Insurance

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Moving insurance is an important part of any move. Your belongings are important to you, and you want to make sure they're protected at all times during the move. You'll want extra protection to cover everything the moving company handles. With Full Value Protection moving insurance, your goods will be protected in transit to your new home -- whether in the moving truck or in temporary storage. It's important to create a photo inventory of all belongings in addition to signing a correct inventory list that the movers write out as they load their truck.

take a photo inventory

While you can't guarantee that none of your items will be damaged or lost, you can ensure you'll be properly covered by purchasing moving insurance and creating a photo inventory.

How do you create a photo inventory for insurance purposes?

You don't have to be a professional photographer to successfully create a photographic inventory for insurance purposes. All you need is a functioning digital camera and your belongings to take decent photos. You can use a cell phone camera if you do not have an actual one. 

Here are some methods to help you create an efficient and accurate photo inventory:

  • Have proper lighting and a clear background. This will help photos look clearer and more vivid, capturing the important details of your items.

  • Do not to use flash when trying to capture images of your belongings -- especially at close range -- because the light from the flash will bounce off of the surface of the object and cause a major glare.

  • Take photos of your items room-by-room to ensure that all of your items have been photographed. Capture each item separately. Try to feature any serial numbers or important details, especially on your more expensive items.

TIP: Any items that come in sets (such as kitchenware) should be photographed together.

  • Take a quick snap of any receipts and appraisals when you find them.

How do you organize and store your inventory photos?

Preparing for a move is one of the busiest times of anyone's life. Between finding a mover, planning the move and packing your belongings, taking photos for insurance purposes admittedly isn't on everyone's to-do list. But it can be done easily, and the benefits more than make up for the time spent doing it.

  • Pair the photos with the task of packing. You can make the process of photographing your belongings a lot easier if you take a picture of each item as you pack it.

  • Attach a copy of these pictures to each box to establish an easy reference point for movers trying to figure out what is packed inside each box.

  • Immediately upload photos to online drives such as Dropbox, Google Photos or an external storage device. If you took the photos on your phone, back them up on another device as soon as possible.

  • Print copies of the uploaded photos and store in a file or box. Keep container in a secure and dry area.

Why create a photo inventory of your belongings?

If there is a problem during the move, you will need a detailed list of all your belongings that were destroyed, stolen or damaged to file an insurance claim. This is why moving insurance is important, and a photo inventory will prepare you to deal with any potential property losses.

If any damage does occur during the move, you'll have to go through the insurance claims process for reimbursement. The claims process is typically tedious and frustrating, and it can be made more difficult if you have insufficient documentation for the item in question. However, the claims process will go much smoother with physical evidence of the item's condition before the move. This also increases the chance of you getting the full value of your affected belongings.

TIP: If you don't have the time, hire a local photography student to create the inventory for you.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on November 30, 2018

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