How much are your belongings worth? If you’ve never taken time to add up the value of all your possessions, you may be surprised to find that it could cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace them if they were damaged, stolen, or destroyed. Personal property insurance helps compensate you for the loss of your belongings due to a covered event. In this month’s post, we’ll show you where to find personal property insurance and how to calculate your actual coverage needs.
Your Personal Property Coverage Explained
If you own a home, rent an apartment, or live in a condo, you probably already have personal property protection. However, it could be severely lacking in coverage – particularly if you have never taken inventory of your belongings. You may have simply estimated your coverage needs for your renter’s or condo-owner’s insurance policy, or you may have settled for the default coverage offered in your standard homeowner’s insurance, which is usually set at 50 percent of your total structural coverage limits.
The problem is this may not be enough to cover your costs after a major loss. That’s because most insurance policies create additional, smaller limits on coverage for certain classes of items. These categories, known as ‘special coverages’, typically limit coverage for things like semi-precious stones, watches, silverware, watercraft, trailers, and equipment. If the value of items in any of those categories exceeds your coverage caps, you may need to talk to an agent here at Noah Insurance about adding additional protection to your policy.
The other reason standard personal property coverage may be inadequate to meet your needs is because an unadorned homeowners insurance policy only compensates you for the actual cash value of your items – not their full replacement value. Because of this, Noah Insurance Group endorses most every homeowners insurance policy sold with replacement cost coverage. So instead of the insurance company compensating you for some of your loss, your claim will cover the cost to replace the item altogether.
Calculating Your Coverage Needs
The most efficient way of calculating your actual coverage needs is by taking inventory of your home. As an added bonus, you can also use your inventory to state your losses after a theft, fire, or other covered event when you might otherwise find it difficult to recall everything you owned.
To start, list everything you own, from the rugs, curtains, and décor to your furniture, electronics, and clothes. The Insurance Information Institute suggests storing your inventory digitally – perhaps in an app you can easily access in the event of a loss. Then, sort your items by category, and update your inventory as you acquire new things. Finally, take pictures and write down serial numbers for your items to provide evidence of your losses should you need to file a claim.
Talk to Your Agent
As you make your resolutions for 2018, vow to make this the year you update your insurance to protect your family better. Your independent agent can be your greatest advocate in helping you get all the personal property coverage you need. Give us a call today to find out more. We look forward to serving you soon.