Accidents can happen to anyone, and they can wreak havoc on much more than just your home. If a fire destroyed all the contents of your home or apartment, could you afford to replace them? Personal property coverage insures the things you own against covered losses, whether they occur at home or anywhere else in the world. This coverage is typically included in a standard homeowner’s, renter’s, or condo-owner’s policy, but how much protection should you really have? In this post, we’ll teach you how to calculate your personal property coverage needs and upgrade your family’s protection for 2018.
Understanding ‘Contents Coverage’
Also known as ‘contents coverage, personal property insurance helps compensate you for the loss of your belongings, helping you to start over again with minimal out-of-pocket costs. This includes things like your:
- Small kitchen appliances
- TVs and electronics
- And more
You can likely set your own personal property coverage limits if you have a renter’s or condo-owner’s policy. If you have standard homeowners insurance, you may find your insurer has set your coverage limit at 50 percent of your structural (Coverage A) limit. However, additional protection may be available if you need it. Keep in mind that the parameters of your coverage are probably more restrictive than your total coverage limit. Often, insurers place additional caps on coverage for certain types of items like precious metals, furs, and firearms. A home inventory can help you determine the value of these items and whether you may need to schedule additional coverage on your policy.
Taking a Home Inventory
To find out if your coverage limits are adequate, we recommend creating a home inventory to track the value of your possessions. If you already have a home inventory, take time this month to add any new belongings that you may have purchased or received since your last update.
If you are creating your first home inventory, consider downloading an app to keep track of your items and safely store them online. Then, begin recording each item you own, room-by-room, being sure to include items stored outside your home, such as in your car or a storage facility. Snap a few photos to support your documentation, and write down any serial numbers for expensive items. It may also help to keep up with purchase receipts if you have them on hand. Not only does this help you calculate your coverage needs, but it can also expedite the claims process after a loss.
Personal property loss claims are subject to your deductible, which will be subtracted from the insurer’s valuation of your loss. Keep in mind that loss valuation can vary widely depending on whether you have actual cash value (ACV) or replacement value coverage. Most standard policies include ACV coverage, which compensates you for the depreciated value of your items. To receive full replacement coverage for your items, talk to an agent here at Mid-Rivers Insurance about upgrading your policy with a replacement coverage endorsement.