The things inside your home are your personal property, and chances are you have accumulated a lot over the years. In fact, you may be surprised to find out just how much your belongings are worth – particularly as you add new purchases and gifts over the most recent holiday season. That is why we here at Van De Hey Insurance want to remind our customers and the local De Pere community that January is a great time to review your personal property protection.
What is Personal Property Coverage?
Personal property coverage is insurance that protects you against the financial loss of the things you own. Whether you are buying or renting, you need personal property insurance to compensate you for the damage or theft of your electronics, furniture, clothes, jewelry, and more. It can even cover things away from your home, such as the items you carry when you are traveling or the furniture you keep in a storage building.
If you need to file a claim for a covered loss, it will be subject to your deductible. You will be compensated for the remaining balance, which will be based on either the actual cash value or the replacement value of your belongings. Typically, standard coverage will only cover the depreciated value. We here at Van De Hey Insurance recommend adding a replacement value endorsement to your coverage to ensure you are compensated for the full cost of replacing your items with new ones. If you do not have replacement value coverage on your policy, contact our office to add it.
Calculating Your Coverage Needs
If you have a standard homeowners insurance policy, your insurer probably protects your belongings (Coverage C) up to 50 percent of your total structural limits (Coverage A). If you rent or own a condo, you may need to select your own limits. Either way, the only way to determine if you are adequately protected is to take inventory of your possessions. This provides a more accurate assessment and gives you a basis from which to update your coverage in the future easily.
The Insurance Information Institute offers helpful tips for taking a home inventory, room-by-room:
- Take pictures
- Keep purchase receipts
- Record serial numbers
- Use an app or cloud-based software to track your items
- Sort items by category
Special Coverage Limits
Before you take inventory of your home, review your policy for special coverage limitations. Certain categories of items, such as jewelry, furs, and firearms, may have limited protection under a standard homeowners insurance policy. Create special categories for these items, and calculate their total value. You may find that a $1,500 limit on jewelry, for example, is not enough to cover your grandmother’s wedding ring, your own wedding rings, and a few other special pieces. In those cases, you can add scheduled coverage to your insurance policy to increase the protection for those items.
To find out how you can update your personal property insurance coverage and better protect your belongings in 2018, contact our office today. We look forward to serving you soon.