With another year behind us, 2018 is a year to make a fresh start. Chances are you’ve made a few goals for the year ahead – maybe even a few financial ones. Here at Vanyo Insurance Group, we want to remind you that January is a great time to update your home inventory, review your personal property coverage, and make sure it lines up with your actual needs. That way, you’ll be better protected against the types of disasters we hope never come your way.
Understanding Personal Property Coverage
If you’ve never added up the value of the things you own, you may be surprised to find it can total tens of thousands of dollars. Imagine the financial burden of replacing those items after a major loss. How would you afford all of it at once? Personal property coverage provides the financial resources to recover from a theft, fire, or other covered event – all with minimal out-of-pocket costs.
Here’s how it works:
You come home from vacation to find you have lost thousands of dollars of jewelry, electronics, and other valuables in a burglary. You contact your insurance company to report the loss. You are required to itemize the damages, listing everything that was stolen or damaged. If you have standard coverage, the insurer will likely cover the actual cash value of the items, which takes into account depreciation. If you have a replacement value endorsement on your policy, however, you will receive compensation for the full cost to replace the items with new ones – minus your deductible, of course.
Taking a Home Inventory
Few people can remember everything they owned and lost after a house fire. Instead, you’ll need a home inventory to fall back on that documents your possessions and the price you paid for them. If you already have a home inventory, January is the time to update it with all of the new gifts you may have received over the holiday season. If you do not have a home inventory, there are several apps and cloud-based software systems that can help you get started.
The Insurance Information Institute recommends taking photos or video of your home and its contents, as well as your garage and storage facility. Write down all of the serial numbers for the items you own and snap a few pictures of your purchase receipts. Then, start writing down everything you own by category. It may help to go room-by-room, tackling a small section at a time.
Review Your Personal Property Coverage
Once you have a home inventory, it is time to compare it against your policy limits to ensure you are adequately covered. If you have standard homeowners insurance, you can find personal property coverage under Section C of your policy. The default limits are likely set to 50 percent of your total structural coverage limits, which are found in Section A. If you have renter’s insurance or condo insurance, your personal property coverage is probably set to an amount that you chose when purchasing the policy.
In addition to reviewing the total coverage limit, you should also compare the special coverage limits against their respective categories in your home inventory. Certain items, such as precious metals and firearms, may be subject to additional coverage limitations. If you own several pieces of jewelry or a few hunting rifles, for example, you may need to request
For more information about scheduled coverage, replacement value endorsements, or how you can improve the overall quality of your personal belongings coverage, contact an independent agent at Vanyo Insurance Group today.