Standard homeowners' insurance covers personal belongings for up to 50 to 70 percent of the structure coverage. However, you don't just buy coverage and expect compensation when your items are stolen. Have these three measures in place to ensure your homeowners insurance covers loss of your valuable items:
Have a List of Your Most Valuable Items
In an ideal world, you would be able to remember every item in your house without referring to a list. In the practical world, you need a list. Since you can't list everything you own down to the safety razor, it makes sense to concentrate on the most valuable ones. Those are the things you would need to have replaced if they were stolen by a burglar. Include relevant details such as make and model, serial number, and the amount you paid for each item.
Store the list in a safe place, preferably in soft copy. Sending an email to yourself is good enough. If your house is burglarized, refer to the list to give the police and insurer the list of missing items. Without such a list, you risk finding out months after submitting your claim that you had forgotten to include a valuable item because you rarely use it.
Preserve Proof of Purchase for Each Item
Merely having a list of valuable items isn't going to cut it with your insurer if you don't have proofs of their purchases. Proof of purchase comes in different forms such as:
- Instruction manuals
- Photographs of the valuable items
Proof of purchase will show not only that you had the items you claim were stolen, but also their value. Keep these items where they are most likely to be safe or upload their photographs to your email.
Buy Adequate Coverage
All the proof in the world isn't going to help you much if your coverage can't replace the lost items. Therefore, you need to buy adequate coverage and review it each time you add a valuable item toy our collection of personal belongings. Therefore, review your coverage each time you upgrade your television set, buy expensive jewelry or invest in a new collectible. Usually, insurers protect expensive items up to specific dollar limits. Buy an endorsement if you want to insure the items for their full dollar value.
Take a moment and review your situation; are your valuable items fully covered? Do you have proof of purchase to ease the claim process in case they are stolen? If not, follow the above steps to protect your belongings.