There's little more stressful than a house fire or burglary. As if losing your possessions wasn't bad enough, you then have to work out what's been taken or destroyed for the insurance claim, and possibly file a police report.

Home Inventory 2 can't extinguish the flames or keep the thieves at bay, but if you keep it up to date, it can make the inevitable form-filling so much easier.

With Home Inventory 2 you can log important information about your home's key possessions, including their make, serial number, purchase price and estimated current value.

You can attach photos of the item to this record, along with a scan of your receipt, warranty information, notes and digital files such as PDF manuals.

Recorded items can be displayed according to customisable product types or locations, and your home inventory database can be exported as a CSV file and backed up to a local drive or your MobileMe account – a home inventory database isn't much use for insurance if your computer was stolen or destroyed.

Barcode scanning is planned for a future update, but stock photos drawn from online databases aren't welcomed by insurance companies, who regard photos of the actual item in a home environment as a proof of ownership.

Home Inventory 2 is an excellently designed piece of software. As long as you have the self-discipline to keep it up to date, it's a boon.

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