At Killey Insurance, we know many of you are starting off the New Year with more things that you acquired over the holiday season. Your personal property coverage generally covers those new belongings along with your old ones, but only up to the limitations of your policy. As you make new goals and resolution, be sure to pencil in some time for a personal property insurance review so you are better protected in 2018.
If you are a homeowner, the contents of your home are typically covered under Section C of your policy. This includes a wide range of items that could be stolen or destroyed due to a covered event, such as:
- Small appliances
- Apparel, shoes, and accessories
- Children’s toys
- Sporting equipment
- Dishes, flatware, and serving ware
- And more
Many insurers include default coverage limits equal to half of your Section A limits (structural coverage). However, you may determine you need additional coverage – particularly if you have very expensive belongings. If you are not a homeowner, personal property insurance is still available through your renters or condo-owners policy. Since these policies do not typically cover structural damages, there are no default personal belongings limits. Instead, you will need to assess your actual coverage needs yourself.
The easiest way to determine how much personal belongings coverage you may need is to take inventory of your home and storage units. It can also help you get your claim settled faster in the event of a loss. While it may seem like an overwhelming task, it can be quite simple – especially if you take it room-by-room. The Insurance Information Institute recommends starting in a contained area and working your way through your home from there. Be sure to count your pieces of clothing, and record any serial numbers on expensive items. It may help to photo-document your items and hang on to purchase receipts when possible.
As you work your way through your home, garage, and storage areas, make a note of any expensive items you may have, such as fine jewelry, an art collection, or firearms. These types of items are often subject to additional coverage limitations and may need scheduled protection in addition to the standard coverage in your policy.
The last thing you want during the claims process is an unpleasant surprise. It is important that you know exactly what to expect when you file a claim against your personal belongings insurance, as this could affect the decisions you make about your coverage. For example, we recommend talking with an independent agent to determine how much your deductible should be, as this is the amount you will be paying out of pocket in the event of a loss.
We also recommend adding a replacement value endorsement to your policy. Without it, your insurer may only cover your personal belongings for their depreciated, actual cash value. That means the $2,000 sofa you purchased may only net you $1,200 in compensation. If you have replacement value coverage, you can be reimbursed for the full cost of replacing your couch with a brand new one.
For more information about how you can improve your personal property insurance for 2018, contact our office today.