Each year, you should take the time to do a complete inventory of the contents of your home for your homeowners insurance policy. This inventory list is what your homeowners insurance company will refer to when and if you file a claim with them to cover the loss of your belongings.
Why does this process need to be repeated each year?
There are three main reasons that you must take inventory each year:
- You no longer own things on your previous inventory list.
- You have purchased or been given new things that should be on the inventory list.
- Items on your inventory list have increased or decreased in value.
How do you know if valuables have increased or decreased in value?
Jewelry, firearms, trading cards, collectibles, antiques and coin collections are just some of the items that have fluctuating values. To learn the true value of these items, you should have them appraised each year. An appraiser can come to your home or you can take these items to the appraisers to find out the value of each item.
After the appraisal is complete, you will be given a written appraisal to provide to the insurance provider to ensure that each item is covered to its true value.
Your insurance has a limit for firearms, collectibles and other valuables – what can you do to insure them beyond the limit?
This is where insurance riders come into play. Insurance riders are basically mini-policies that cover particular items. For example, if your insurance policy limits the coverage on firearms to $2,000 and you have firearms that are worth far more than that, you can add a rider to your policy that will cover the true value of the firearms.
This will slightly increase your rates each year, but it is the only way to insure your valuables against loss.
How do you take inventory correctly?
The best way to keep an accurate inventory of your valuables is to take pictures of each item and scan or photograph receipts and/or written appraisals for each item. The reason for creating digital copies is so that you can store these copies online or on a disk in a safety deposit box – anywhere safe outside of the home in case the home is destroyed by a fire.
Talk with your homeowners insurance provider to learn more about taking inventory and ensuring that all of your valuables are covered up to their true value so your loss is not greater than it needs to be during a difficult time. If you're looking for a home insurance expert in your area, visit Gateway Insurance.