What would happen if you lost everything in a fire or burglary?
Personal belongings pile up over the years as households gradually accumulate more and more possessions. You may be surprised to learn how much it would cost you to replace everything you own, from the soap dish in your bathroom to the flat screen TV in your den.
If you have renters, homeowners, or condo-owners insurance, you probably have personal property coverage to help pay for your losses. The only way to know if you have enough coverage, however, is to perform a personal property insurance review–something we are encouraging our Elk River, MN area customers to do.
Understanding Your Coverage
Personal property coverage compensates you for the loss of the things you own when they are damaged, destroyed, or stolen due to a covered event. The loss is typically subject to a deductible that you choose when purchasing your policy. This is the amount you will contribute out-of-pocket toward any future claims.
If you have a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, your personal property coverage will probably be found under Section C – Personal Property. Unlike condo-owners and renter’s policies that allow you to select your own coverage limits, you may find that the personal property limits on your homeowner’s policy have been conveniently pre-selected for you by your insurer – often in an amount equal to 50 percent of your total structural coverage limit in Section A.
It is important to note that this limit is often adequate to meet a homeowner’s overall coverage needs, but not always. Not to mention, there are additional caps on coverage for certain types of high-valued items, such as jewelry, furs, and firearms. That is why we recommend conducting a home inventory to assess the actual value of your belongings both as a whole and categorically. You can then compare your calculations with your existing personal property insurance to determine if you may need to schedule additional coverage and raise your limits.
Taking a Home Inventory
It is important to keep an updated inventory of your possessions at all times – preferably kept in a safe location you can access in the event of a loss. The Insurance Information Institute suggests using an app for easy reference and safe, cloud-based storage. Not only does this allow you to easily update your inventory as you acquire new items, but it also facilitates quick and easy reference in the event you need to file a claim.
If you already have a home inventory, there’s no time like the present to update it. If you do not have an existing inventory, it’s simple to get started:
- Select a room in your home
- Begin writing down everything you own, including serial numbers when applicable
- List the number of items in various categories, such as “25 picture frames” or “9 pairs of jeans.”
- Work through your home room-by-room until you have recorded each item
- Remember to inventory your garage and any items you keep stored away from your home
- Take pictures or perform a video walk-through of your possessions
- Snap pictures of any purchase receipts you may have on-hand for big-ticket items
Adding It Up
Once your home inventory is complete and up-to-date, you can consult with an independent agent here at Pentagon Insurance to review your coverage needs. We can help you schedule additional coverage, increase your limits, or even add a replacement value endorsement to assure your losses are compensated based on the cost of replacing your items with new ones – not just the depreciated, actual cash value that comes standard with most personal property coverage.
To find out more about how you can update your insurance to better protect your family in the year ahead, give our office a call today.
Peter Cole, insurance agent and partner at Pentagon Insurance Agency in Elk River, MN, began his career in the industry more than 30 years ago. He prides himself on backing up every sale by personally providing service to his clients and by providing the coverage they need at the best possible price.
Contact Peter to discuss your situation today!