One of the top New Year’s resolutions made every year is the commitment to save more money. Sure, you can sock away more cash and cut back on spending, but having the right insurance coverage plays an important role in that goal, as well. If your coverage is too low, you risk losing more money out-of-pocket and wiping out all your hard-earned savings. That is why this month, we here at Wheaton Insurance are reminding our customers to review your personal property insurance coverage to assure you are well-protected against anything 2018 could throw your way.
Understanding Personal Property Coverage
If you have a standard homeowners insurance policy, you probably have personal property coverage worth half, or more, of what you insured the structure of your home for. If you rent or live in a condo, personal property coverage is available and important for you, too; although you will need to decide how much coverage to buy, as there are no default limits.
Personal property coverage is designed to compensate you for the loss of your home’s contents after a covered event. Standard-issued coverage will generally compensate you for the depreciated value of your items minus your deductible. However, we recommend adding a replacement cost endorsement to your policy, which helps fill the gap between the actual cash value of your belongings and the price of replacing them with new ones.
Special Coverage Limits
Simply selecting a coverage amount or accepting the default coverage limits may not be enough to meet your needs. Not only do some homeowners need more than the designated ‘default’ coverage, but there are also smaller coverage limits that cap compensation for certain types of items. For example, you may be limited to $200 for cash destroyed in a house fire, or you may be limited to $1,500 of coverage for jewelry stolen from your home. Other categories often subject to special coverage limits include precious metals, watercraft, firearms, electronic accessories, and more. So how can you know if the coverage limits in your policy are adequate to meet your needs?
Take a Home Inventory
One of the most important things you can do to kick off the New Year is to take inventory of your home or update your existing home inventory. This is especially true if you received any expensive new gifts during the holiday season. In years past, paper copies of home inventories were kept in safe places away from home. Today, it is important to store your inventory online using cloud-based software or an app.
When you begin listing your belongings, consider doing so room-by-room, and then category-by-category. This will allow for quick and easy reference should you need to file a claim or make changes to your records in the future. Here at Wheaton Insurance, we recommend documenting as much as possible with photos, purchase receipts, and serial numbers. This can expedite the claims process and also make it easier to support your claim.
Upgrade Your Coverage
If your home inventory and coverage review reveal gaps in your policy, it may be time to upgrade your coverage. Give us a call here at Wheaton Insurance to increase your limits, schedule special coverage, or add replacement value protection to your policy today.