If disaster were to strike and all of the valuables in your home were stolen, would you be able to report the details of all your belongings to your insurance company? You likely have some idea of all the valuables in your home and their appropriate costs, but do you have all of the necessary supporting documentation? Moreover, do you know which of your valuables are covered under your policy? To make sure you are prepared in the event of a loss follow these key steps. Have proof of your valuables
- Photograph or record on video each room of your home, including the storage shed and/or garage. Remember to open drawers and closets to ensure all your valuables are included.
- If you decide to record yourself on video, consider describing each of your valuables.
- Keep copies of store receipts, appraisals for jewelry, and any other documentation needed to support the purchase and cost of major items in your home. Consider photocopying certain original receipts that may fade over time.
- If you require an appraisal of your valuables, such as jewelry, artwork or china, use an accredited appraiser. Visit the Canadian Association of Personal Property Appraisers (www.cpa-cappa.com) for more information.
- Keep your appraisals current. Check with your insurance professional for your insurance company's guidelines. Note that some insurance companies won't accept an appraisal that is more than three or five years old. Please refer to our article Taking Inventory For Your Home Insurance? A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words for further details.
Keep proof of your valuables in a secure location
- Physical items such as photographs, receipts, appraisals etc. should all be stored in a secure place away from your home (e.g. in a safety deposit box).
- Digital copies of your proof of valuables should be stored away from home. Remember that you can always scan paper documents to create an electronic copy for yourself.
- There are several new and innovative ways to store information on your valuables, and get them appraised using websites and software such as that found at www.knowyourstuff.org.
Make sure your valuables are covered under your policy When in doubt, contact your insurance professional and ask the following:
- What does my insurance policy cover?
- What type of insurance policy do I have? Different types of policies provide different levels of coverage. A Comprehensive type of policy provides the most coverage while Broad and Named Perils policies cover less. See our article on the Home Insurance Coverage for more information
- What are the limits for items such as jewelry or collectables in my homeowner or tenant's policy? If you are concerned or confused about your current level of coverage, discuss your options with your insurance professional.
Compare rates from competing insurers Shop around periodically to make sure you are paying competitive prices you're your desired level of coverage. Comparison sites like InsuranceHotline.com can provide you with quotes from competing insurers and connect you with licensed insurance professionals who can help ensure you get the coverage you need. It's fast, easy to use and best of all, it's free.