Personal property coverage is not just for wealthy people with expensive art and hoards of fine jewelry. In actuality, it is everyday coverage for everyday people who have regular things – and maybe a few expensive things – to protect. Here at Smith Insurance and Financial Services, we are challenging everyone in the Big Bend area to take inventory of your home this month and compare your findings against your personal property coverage and limits. Not only will it help you assess your actual coverage needs, but it could also help you accelerate the claims process after a loss.
Understanding Personal Property Coverage
If you have standard homeowners insurance, condo insurance, or a renters insurance policy, then personal property coverage is probably nothing new to you. You may have chosen your own coverage limit when you purchased your renters or condo insurance policy, or you may have settled for the default coverage offered on your home insurance – usually equal to about half of your Coverage A structural limits. While it may be a good start, the truth is you could be drastically underinsured if you did not base your coverage on an actual inventory of your belongings.
For example, did you know there are smaller coverage caps for certain types of items like firearms and precious metals? That means that even with $150,000 in personal property coverage, you might still come up short of the coverage necessary to pay for the theft of more than $1,500 worth of jewelry. If you had a home inventory, you would know approximately how much coverage you actually need for each category and could purchase additional scheduled coverage where it’s desired.
How to Inventory Your Home
Taking a home inventory is simple, but time-consuming. While it may seem like an overwhelming task – particularly if you have a lot of belongings – it could help you more accurately calculate your coverage needs. It could also help you report your losses faster after a covered event.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a home inventory should include the following:
- Room-by-room itemization sorted categorically
- Photos or videos of your belongings
- Copies of purchase receipts, contracts, and appraisals
- Records of serial numbers
- Cloud-based or app-based storage
After you’ve taken inventory, make a point to update it regularly – especially after you purchase expensive items or receive gifts during the holiday season.
Talk to an Agent
Once you have an idea of how much coverage you need, including scheduled coverages, contact an agent here at Smith Insurance and Financial Services to find out how you can improve your personal property protection. We can help you select a deductible, balance your coverage, and even add a replacement value endorsement to your policy. With a replacement value endorsement, you are reimbursed for the cost of brand-new replacement items – not just the depreciated, actual cash value of your damaged or stolen goods.
For more information about personal property coverage or to request a quote, contact our office to speak with an independent agent today.