It’s a new year, and that means it is time to review the details of your personal property coverage. Whether Santa brought a sparkling new diamond bracelet or a new firearm for your hunting arsenal, all those Christmas presents you received need to be documented to assure they are protected against disaster.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
Whether you own a home, rent an apartment, or live in a quaint urban condo, chances are your insurance covers your personal belongings. Claims made against your personal property insurance will be subject to your deductible but could save you tens of thousands of dollars after a major loss.
In the case of renters insurance and condo insurance, there are no standard coverage amounts. Instead, policy-holders simply choose how much personal property coverage they want. Homeowners insurance is a little different. In most cases, standard coverage automatically includes personal property protection equal to 50 percent of the structure coverage (Coverage A). This can be found under Section C – Personal Property. While this standard coverage is often a good starting point, it may not be adequate for all households. A home inventory can help you determine if additional coverage is necessary.
Inventory Your Belongings
The Insurance Information Institute recommends taking a home inventory room by room, sorting items by category. Include off-site items stored away from your home, as they are generally covered by homeowners insurance, as well.
A home inventory should include as much documentation as possible, including pictures, serial numbers, and purchase receipts when possible. Initially, this may seem like a major undertaking, but it can make future updates much simpler. Not to mention, it could help you recover more of your losses, as it can be difficult to remember everything you own after a house fire, theft, or other covered incident.
If you already have a home inventory, January is still the time to update it – especially if you added expensive items to your home during the holiday season. It may help to use an app to keep track of your items or perhaps even take a video inventory instead of a paper one.
Keep in mind that certain categories of items may be subject to special coverage limitations within your policy. These include:
- Securities, passports, tickets, and evidence of debt
- Jewelry, precious metals, and furs
- Items primarily used for business
- Certain electronic accessories
An agent here at Billy Brown Insurance can clarify the limitations of each category. If the total value of your items exceeds your coverage, we can show you how to schedule additional protection for your valuables.
Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost
Reading the details of your personal property coverage, you may notice the standard protection only covers the actual cash value of your items. That means you will be reimbursed for your losses based on the depreciated value of your belongings – not the cost to replace them with new items. If you prefer full replacement coverage – something we typically recommend for our clients – talk to an agent here at Billy Brown Insurance about adding an endorsement to your policy.
For more information about personal property insurance or to request your free quote, contact our office today.