How to Show Proof of Ownership During an Insurance Claim

woman sitting on couch organizing receipts

Home insurance is a protective policy that covers your home in the event of damage or loss.

However, it doesn’t only cover the structure – your home insurance policy will cover the contents of your home as well.

While having an insurance policy for your home is necessary, it’s something homeowners hope they will never have to rely on. But if your home experiences damage, it’s there to protect you should you have to make a claim.

When it comes to your belongings, your insurance company will reimburse you for items that are damaged, stolen, or lost up to the dollar amount listed in your policy.

To determine the amount of damage or loss to your items, you need to show proof of insurance during the claims process.

To better understand how proof of ownership works, this guide will show you what constitutes proof of ownership, what to do if you don’t have proof of ownership, and how to best prepare should the unexpected happen to your home.

What is Proof of Ownership?

When it comes to making an insurance claim for your home, proof of ownership refers to any document that details items that were lost or damaged.

Your insurance company needs this to prove that you owned the items so they can compensate you for the loss.

Different insurance providers have different requirements but generally, these documents can serve as proof of ownership:

  • Original or electronic receipt
  • Email receipt
  • Photo of the item
  • Bank or credit card statement
  • Certificate, appraisal, or evaluation
  • The item’s serial number
  • Warranty or guarantee documents
  • Operating manual or original packaging

If an item was given to you as a gift, you likely don’t have a receipt or proof of purchase. You can ask the gifter for the receipt or use the original owner’s manual as proof of ownership.

What Happens If I Can’t Show Proof of Ownership?

During the claim process, your insurer will likely ask you for a list of the damaged belongings even if you cannot prove ownership of them. 

If you cannot show proof of ownership, your insurance company will use the average replacement cost of a similar item in order to pay the claim.

Unfortunately, this means that if your item was of higher quality then you may not get an exact replacement.

However, with proof of ownership, you will receive an amount closer to the value of the item.

Keeping track of every single receipt for everything you own can be challenging but a claims representative can guide you through the process of replacing items for which you have no proof of ownership.

How to Prepare Proof of Ownership to Make the Process Easier

When you are making a claim for damages to items in your home, it can be stressful to track down receipts for purchases you have made over the years. 

To make the process easier, there are things you can do right now to make the process easier:

  • Take inventory of everything in your home. You can use a spreadsheet or an app to keep track of your belongings.
  • Review your coverage to make sure it is up-to-date and will cover the items you own.
  • Take photos of everything to document what you own and the items’ current conditions.
  • Try to keep digital copies of your receipts and other documentation in case you lose or can’t access the paper copies.

By being proactive, you can ensure that the claims process goes smoothly should the unexpected happen.

Common Home Insurance Claims

They say that hindsight is 20/20 and most homeowners don’t consider the possibility of damage occurring to their home until it does.

And it doesn’t take a major disaster to cause significant damage to your home.

Here are some common home insurance claims you should be aware of:


Having a leak in your home can lead to water damage to both the home’s structure and your belongings.

The most common leaks occur in the bathroom due to an overflowing tub, a shower that doesn’t drain, or a leaky toilet.

Leaks can also occur when pipes burst or even when dishwasher and washing machine hoses become loose, corroded, or damaged.

You can prevent leaks in your home by checking your pipes regularly, installing anti-backflow valves, and never leaving running water unattended.


Fires in the kitchen can happen suddenly and cause significant damage to your home.

The number one cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking, specifically when heating oil is involved. An oil fire can ignite in seconds and spread quickly through your home.

Electrical fires are also a possibility when overloaded connections create a devastating spark and candles are also a leading cause of house fires when left unattended. 

It goes without saying that you should never leave cooking food or burning candles unattended.

However, you can avoid electrical fires by using surge-protected power strips, avoiding plug dividers and overloading extension cords, and ensuring the electrical system in your home is up-to-date.


During a robbery, not only are you at risk of losing valuables but items in your home can suffer from damage as well.

Having a home inventory is also a good idea in case you do experience a theft since you can provide a detailed list of what was stolen.

To avoid having your home broken into, invest in a security system and lock your doors and windows during the night and when you leave your home.

Keep Your Home and Valuables Safe

The best way to protect your home and valuables is to take steps to ensure damage and loss do not occur.

However, some things are out of your control and if you do suffer a loss you’ll want to make sure you are prepared to make a claim.

Capital Insurance is dedicated to helping you protect your home, yourself, and your family. Our expert team is available to help guide you through the claims process in the event of loss or damage in your home.

Contact us today for more information about home insurance and the claims process.