Personal property insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that all the things you own are covered in the event of a loss. Chances are you already have this important protection for your homeowners, renters, or condo-insurance policy, but do you know the details of this important coverage? As you begin tackling your 2018 resolutions, be sure to carve out time to better understand your personal property coverage and what you can do to better protect your personal belongings in the year ahead.
Take Inventory of Your Home
The more information you have about the contents of your home, the better. Not only does this data help you assess your coverage needs, but it also helps you file a more accurate claim in the event of a loss. Here at Heinen Insurance, we’ve seen many different types of home inventories, from paper and digital copies to photo and video walk-throughs. For simplicity and safe storage, the Insurance Information Institute suggests using an app specifically designed for home inventory updates and storage.
When you begin, start by opening every drawer and cabinet in one room and listing each item one by one. Then, move onto each additional room, like the garage and other areas where you store your belongings. Leave nothing out, but feel free to consolidate like-kind items like apparel into simple terms, such as “8 pairs of jeans” or “2 pairs of tennis shoes.” Finally, document your list with photos, purchase receipts, video, credit card statements, appraisals, and any other documents that can substantiate your claims.
Review Your Coverage
When you add up the value of your belongings, you will need to know your coverage limits and how your policy covers each item. There is an overall coverage limit as well as smaller caps on coverage for certain categories of items. If you have a standard homeowners insurance policy, you can find this information in Coverage C – Personal Property. Most likely, you will find that your overall coverage limit is 50 percent of your Coverage A structural limit. If you have a renter’s or condo-owner’s policy, you may have chosen your own limits instead.
Special coverage caps tend to be much lower – often between $500 and $2,500. These apply to things like precious metals, semi-precious stones, firearms, furs, and currency. If you have several expensive items, such as jewelry, we recommend having these items appraised and scheduling additional coverage specifically for those belongings. This ensures you have all the protection you need to receive compensation for them in the event of a loss.
Finally, check the valuation terms for your personal property coverage. Unless you have a replacement value endorsement, your standard policy is likely to provide only actual cash value (ACV) coverage, which accounts for depreciation. To minimize your costs when filing a claim, we recommend adding a replacement value endorsement that assures you can replace your damaged or stolen items with new ones instead.
For more information about the ways Heinen Insurance can help you improve your personal property coverage for 2018, contact our office today.