Your best protection against a devastating loss is first a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. It It is important to have some form of insurance coverage for property and personal belongings. If you rent, your landlord may insure the building you live in, but the landlord’s insurance does not cover personal belongings. Here are some things you can do before a disaster strikes to make the claims process a little easier:
- Inventory your personal property. Record model numbers and serial numbers for the more expensive belongings such as electronics. Keep receipts because they provide information such as purchase price, purchase date, etc. You may even consider video recording or taking pictures inside your home. Note: Keep inventory records at a location other than your home.
- Make photocopies of your insurance policies and keep copies in a secure location outside of your home. Keep important papers together so they will be available when you need them.
- Have your insurance producer and insurance company’s telephone numbers readily available.
- Be familiar with the coverage of your insurance policy. Make sure you understand the difference between actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost coverage for your contents. ACV replaces contents at cost minus depreciation. Replacement cost replaces your contents at today’s prices.
- Remember: basic homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood, earthquake or mine subsidence damages. Coverage for these perils can be added to your homeowners insurance policy for additional premium. Contact your insurance producer for more information.