Happy New Year from Lillie-Couch Insurance! What did you get over the holiday season? A new TV? A computer? Maybe some jewelry? As 2018 kicks into high gear, now are the time to make sure your shiny new toys are protected against damage, theft, or loss. That is why we are challenging all of our Clear Lake area customers to update or create new home inventories and make any necessary changes to your personal property insurance right away. After all, accidents can happen to anyone at anytime. Take steps now to minimize your loss.
A home inventory is an itemized list of the things you own. You can use this to recall each of your belongings if you need to file a claim, as well as to calculate your coverage needs when purchasing or updating your personal property insurance. The Insurance Information Institute considers it one of the most efficient ways of making the most of your homeowners or renters coverage in the event of a covered loss.
Though it may seem like a daunting task, creating a home inventory simply takes a little time.
- List your items room-by-room, including your attic, garage, and other storage areas.
- Collect any purchase receipts you have to substantiate your claims.
- Take pictures, and write down serial numbers to further validate your claims.
- Sort your items by category.
- Number like-kind items (i.e. 14 sweaters, 21 picture frames).
- Upload your information into an app for safe, cloud-based storage.
Once you have a home inventory, use it to calculate the value of your possessions and assess your coverage needs. Then, make a habit of updating your inventory regularly so that you are always prepared for an unexpected loss.
Your Personal Property Coverage Explained
The terms of your personal property coverage can be found in your renters or condo-owners policy, or in Section C of a standard homeowners insurance policy. Typically, it includes coverage for the actual cash value of your items, which accounts for the cost of depreciation. In other words, the insurance company will only pay for the current valuation of your item – not the cost of replacing it with a new one. If you want full replacement coverage for your belongings, which we here at Lillie-Couch Insurance recommend for most of our customers, you may need to add a replacement value endorsement to your policy.
It is also important to pay attention to your personal property coverage caps. There is a general limit, which is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for all losses combined, as well as ‘special coverage’ limits for certain types of items like firearms, fine jewelry, and cash. If you feel that your coverage limits are too low, you can request higher limits or schedule additional coverage for high-value items.
Keep Your Insurance Agent in the Loop
As your local independent insurance agency, we here at Lillie-Couch Insurance want to help you maintain quality coverage for years to come. We can help you select a personal property insurance deductible, upgrade your coverage to include replacement value, add scheduled coverage for high-value items, and even make recommendations as you purchase new, big-ticket items.
Give us a call today to find out how we can improve your personal property protection for 2018. We look forward to serving you soon.