Update your household contents inventory to ensure your insurance pays claims in full
Burglaries, fires, floods, and storm damage are topics most people try to avoid thinking about. Unfortunately, it does happen, but having adequate insurance for your household contents can make it easier to deal with such a calamity.
If you purchase new home insurance or revise your existing insurance, you must full inventory of your belongings and keep track of the total value. It’s also worth doing regular annual inventory updates, as your situation changes from year to year.
Most people don’t know how to properly value their property, especially if they’ve inherited used pieces or parts that they don’t know the replacement cost for.
For insurance purposes, you should estimate the replacement values ââof all your belongings, as insurers use these values ââto calculate your premiums. If the estimated total value of your goods is too low, the insurance company will not cover the full cost of replacing the items in the event of a claim.
You also need to make sure you don’t overstate your possessions, otherwise your insurance premiums will be higher than they should be. In the event of a claim, the insurer is unlikely to pay full amounts for items that have been overvalued, even if you have paid higher premiums.
It is important to keep records of your belongings so that if any items are stolen or damaged, you can prove ownership, which will facilitate your claim.
â¢ Look for online tools and mobile apps to help you value items and that will automatically update values ââto reflect inflation.
â¢ Photographs of your goods are invaluable during an inventory. With each photo, provide a description of each item to be insured, along with model or serial numbers, date of purchase or acquisition, and value.
â¢ Keep proof of purchase for any new item to determine replacement value in the event of a claim.
â¢ Printed copies of your inventory should be kept in a safe place and be easily accessible – with at least one copy stored away from your home.
â¢ Certificates of appraisal or appraisal of valuable jewelry, works of art and other individually specified items should be kept safe with your inventory.
â¢ For online inventories, scans of your certificates of appraisal should be included, in addition to the model and serial numbers of all items, and current retail prices.
Taking a detailed inventory can be time consuming, especially if you’ve lived in your home for many years and have accumulated a lot of assets. However, it is worth it, to avoid finding after a disaster that certain elements have been neglected or poorly valued.
Taking a detailed inventory and updating your insurance policy can also make you realize that you are paying to insure items you no longer need, which could save you money in the long run.