Proof of ownership and proof of loss in insurance claims

By Allstate

Last updated: May 2024

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What is proof of ownership?

Proof of ownership is documentation that proves an item belonged to you before it was damaged or stolen. Documentation can be bank statements, receipts, online registration or photos.

What is a proof of loss?

Proof of loss is a legal document that explains what’s been damaged or stolen and how much money you’re claiming. Your insurer may have you fill one out, depending on the loss.

Homeowners, condo and renters insurance can typically help cover personal property. But to file a claim, you'll need to know which items were stolen or damaged and how much they were worth.

Do I need proof of ownership for an insurance claim?

If you need to file an insurance claim, your insurer may ask for a list of items that have been lost or damaged. You might be asked to provide some type of proof that you own these items, like receipts or bills. It may help to think ahead and create an inventory of your belongings and periodically update it.

How to create a home inventory

Here are some tips for creating and safekeeping your home inventory.

Make a thorough checklist

Your home inventory checklist should contain important information about your personal belongings, according to Forbes. This includes:

  • The item’s value
  • The date you bought it
  • Any receipts you have
  • The serial number and/or make and model (for electronics and appliances)

Home inventory apps can make the whole process far easier, says Forbes. They offer an easy way to list your items and securely store information. If anything’s ever damaged, you’ll be able to retrieve that information quickly.

Think visually

You don't need to be a professional filmmaker to videotape or take photos of every room in your house.

If you choose to record a video, narrate as you go along. Discuss each item and note its features and conditions.

If you carry renters or home insurance and aren’t sure what’s covered, connect with your insurer. They can go over your policy with you to see if there are any gaps in protection.