Let’s try a little exercise: Can you list everything you own from memory?
Didn’t think so.
The fact is most people own more things than they realize. It’s easy to remember the cars, the computer, the TV. But what about that holiday china in the garage? Or every pair of shoes?
All of it is regarded as personal property for insurance purposes. And if your Illinois or Wisconsin home is destroyed by fire or some other disaster, having a list of your possessions makes filing a claim easier — and helps you put your life back together.
Why should I complete a home inventory? What’s the best way?
Comparing the value of your belongings to the “contents” limit listed in your policy helps you make sure you have enough insurance to replace them if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss. The easiest way to take an inventory is to use a video camera, recording and describing items as you walk through your house. Or, you can use a regular camera and create a home inventory checklist.
Here are a few tips for completing and storing your inventory:
- Add brand names and descriptions where you can, especially on large-ticket items. Serial numbers are helpful to note.
- Keep any receipts you have with the list to make the claims process easier.
- Store your video or photo inventory offsite so you won’t lose it if your house is damaged. You can email your video or photos to us and we'll attach it to your client file.
- Update your personal property records when you purchase new furnishings and valuables.
Though the task may seem daunting, it’s important to try. An incomplete inventory is better than nothing at all.
How much insurance do I need?
We can assist you in analyzing your insurance needs and help you decide how to most effectively protect your personal property. You should consider full-value coverage, which will pay for the replacement value of your personal belongings. A standard policy typically covers personal property only up to its actual cash value, determined by taking the replacement cost and deducting depreciation, which can be substantial. (For example, a 5-year-old TV is usually worth much less than what it would cost to purchase a new one.)
Finally, remember your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry, furs, art and antiques, only up to set dollar amounts. If the cost of replacing them exceeds these limits, you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage.
We hope you’ll never need the home inventory, but preparing for the worst can prevent a lot of hassle later!
Illinois and Wisconsin residents, at R Hobbs Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you've got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at (847) 680-0888 or send us a note at email@example.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected!
Content Sources: Safeco Insurance and www.iii.org