When you opened all those expensive new gadgets and toys during the holiday season, did you think to add them to your home inventory? The truth is few people make regular updates to their home inventory, and many have no inventory at all. As we kick off 2018 with resolutions for self-betterment, at Ellis Insurance, we are encouraging our customers to create a well-organized home inventory and make any necessary corresponding changes to your personal property insurance.
Take Inventory of Your Home
A home inventory is a document that lists all of the things you own, both big and small. It includes the contents of your home, garage, and storage facilities, as well as items you travel with or keep in your car. You can use your inventory to calculate your coverage needs and expedite the claims process after a loss.
You can start by downloading an app specifically designed for tracking the things you own. Use the app to list everything in your home, going room to room and opening every cabinet and drawer. Then, snap some pictures of your items or perform a video walk-through. It also helps to upload any supporting documentation of your purchases and the value of your items, such as receipts, credit card statements, appraisals and serial numbers.
Review Your Coverage
Once you have a list of your belongings, compare them to your personal property insurance. You can find this coverage in your renters or condo-owners policy, or under Coverage C of your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Take note of the deductible, which is the amount you pay toward the cost of your claims, as well as the valuation terms. A typical insurance policy covers personal belongings only for their actual cash value – not the full replacement value. Considering how much depreciation can dent your settlement, at Ellis Insurance we recommend purchasing a replacement value endorsement to ensure you are compensated for the cost of replacing your items with brand new ones.
Another thing to note is the cap on coverage. Personal property insurance typically comes with a total coverage limit. You may have chosen this limit if you have renters or condo-owners insurance, or it may have been provided by default at an amount equal to 50 percent of your structural limit in Coverage A of your standard homeowners insurance policy.
If you believe your total coverage is adequate, don’t stop your insurance review there. You should also look at the ‘special coverage’ limits for things like furs, jewelry, and silverware. If you have an extensive collection of high-value items that exceed your special coverage limits, talk to an agent at our office about scheduling additional coverage specifically for those belongings.
Ultimately, your independent agent is a valuable asset in your quest toward better personal property coverage. For more information about how our team can help you improve your coverage for 2018, contact our office today. We look forward to serving you soon.