If you haven’t reviewed your personal property coverage in a while, the start of the new year is a great time to do it. Not only can it help align your finances for 2018, but it can also help you assure the expensive new gadgets and toys you acquired over the holiday season are well-protected against loss. Continue reading to learn how you can better calculate your personal property coverage needs and what you can do to upgrade protections for your belongings in the coming year.
Take Inventory of Your Home
Before you break out your policy to review your personal property coverage, take time to first update your home inventory. If you do not have a home inventory, now is the time to create one. There are multiple apps that can help you with this process, or you can simply record everything in a cloud-based document that you can retrieve online in the event of a loss.
The inventory process is made up of two steps:
The documentation process requires a line item for everything you own, both in your home and away from it. Start by choosing a single room and opening every drawer and cabinet. Record all of the items in that room before moving onto the next.
After you have a list of all your items, take time to gather documents that support your ownership of the items in your inventory. Credit card statements, appraisals, purchase receipts and serial numbers are all examples of supporting evidence. You can also take photos of your items or video as you walk through your home.
Review Your Coverage
Your personal property coverage can be found in your renters, condo-owners, or homeowners policy. In a standard homeowners policy, it can be found under Section C – Personal Property. You may notice that you are responsible for paying a deductible toward the cost of your loss. This is the amount that will be deducted from the insurance company’s settlement once your claim is finalized.
The next thing you may notice is the coverage limitations of your policy. If you have renters insurance, this could be any amount you chose at the time of purchase. If you have standard homeowners insurance, you probably have a maximum total coverage equal to 50 percent of your structural coverage limit found in Coverage A.
Reading on, you may notice ‘special coverages’ that limit the amount of coverage available for certain types of items. This is an important section to pay attention to – especially if you have a significant accumulation of jewelry, precious metals, furs, or firearms. For examples, if you look at the jewelry in your home inventory and find that the total value exceeds $1,500, you may be underinsured. Fortunately, you can work with your independent agent at Couri Insurance to schedule additional coverage for specific items.
Finally, take a glance at your coverage valuation terms. Standard personal belongings coverage does not pay for a replacement of your items. Instead, it covers the actual cash value (ACV). That means you will receive a check based on the depreciated value of your damaged or stolen items minus your deductible. If that sounds like too little money to pick up the pieces after a loss, talk to an agent here at Couri Insurance about adding a replacement value endorsement to your policy. With replacement value endorsements, policy-holders are compensated for the cost of replacing damaged items with brand new ones.