Home and renters insurance is one of those things many people buy and rarely – if ever – look at again. However, a lot may have changed since you purchased your policy – especially if you’ve added a lot of personal belongings to your household over the years. As 2018 officially swings into full gear, there is no better time than now to add all those holiday gifts to your home inventory and review your personal property coverage to ensure you are covered for the items you own.
Understanding Personal Property Coverage
Personal property coverage is included on most home, renters, and condo-owners insurance policies. This section pertains to the contents of your home, as well as the items you may store elsewhere or travel with. Whether someone burglarizes your car or everything in your house is destroyed by fire, the personal property coverage section of your policy typically covers it.
The amount of coverage you have generally depends on the type of policy you have and the selections you made when you purchased it. For example, renters and condo-owners policies typically offer variable coverage amounts. Standard homeowners policies, on the other hand, typically include default Section C personal belongings coverage limits equal to 50 percent of the total structural coverage limits found in Section A.
So how do you know if you are adequately covered, and what do you do if you find out you’re not?
Start with a Home Inventory
The only person who knows the extent of your possessions is you. Can you accurately calculate their value in your head? Could you remember all your belongings when you need to declare a loss for everything you own? More than likely, the answer is ‘no’. However, a home inventory can be a helpful resource in assessing your coverage needs and recovering your losses after a covered event.
The Insurance Information Institute recommends using an app to store and track your inventory. We here at Tagge Insurance tend to agree. After all, you can easily log into and update a cloud-based inventory from any device, but it may be more difficult to keep track of and protect an inventory kept on paper.
The more documentation you have to support your itemized list, the better. Your inventory can include:
- Serial numbers
- Purchase receipts
- Video walk-through of your home
- And any other supporting documentation you have
It may help to sort your belongings by category – especially considering certain types of items are subject to special coverage limitations. For example, you may be limited to $2,500 for theft of your firearms or just $1,500 for theft of jewelry. If the value of your belongings exceeds those special coverage limits, you might need to talk with an agent here at Tagge Insurance about adding scheduled coverage to your policy.
Talk to an Independent Agent
At Tagge Insurance, we want you to be fully prepared for anything 2018 throws your way. In addition to helping you increase your coverage limits, we can also help you find other ways of minimizing your out-of-pocket costs. This could include making adjustments to your deductible or adding a replacement value coverage endorsement to your policy. With this endorsement, you can be reimbursed for the cost of brand new replacement items – not merely the depreciated, actual cash value.
For more information about how you can upgrade and improve your personal property coverage this year, contact our office today. Happy New Year!