Home contents insurance is one of the types of insurance policies that you should have to protect your personal belongings in your home from loss, damage or theft…Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, it doesn’t matter. The home contents insurance policy will financially protect you in case of events that none of us wants to think will ever happen to us – a fire, burglary, vandalism – and any number of other unforeseeable situations that most of us are unprepared to deal with.
Many of us have no idea how much the items in our home are worth. If you suffered a loss of your home TODAY, what would you do tomorrow? Would you call your insurance broker who sold you your home contents insurance? What would you do if he asked you to give him a list of everything that you lost in your home and the total value of your loss? Would you even know where to begin?
Have you ever done a home inventory of your personal belongings? If you have, congratulations! Most homeowners have home contents insurance, but have not done what you’ve done to protect yourself and your property. But is your inventory current? When was the last time you updated that inventory? Do you have a regular time for reviewing your inventory, adding new purchases or expensive gifts to it, and deleting items you’ve gotten rid of? Where are you storing your inventory records? If you’re keeping the list at home, then what do you think will happen to it if your home catches on fire and is demolished? How much help will it be to you then? Keep the inventory of your personal belongings in a safety deposit box at your bank, in a file cabinet at your workplace, or at the home of a family member or trusted friend. Be sure that a few people besides yourself know where your inventory is being kept. If you decide to keep it in a safety deposit box, don’t keep your key at home in a hidden place or you won’t be able to get into your box. Keep the key on your keychain, in a hidden place in your car, or with a trusted friend or relative. And remember that it won’t help much if something happens to you and you never told anyone where the key is.
If you have a video camera (and many cell phones today have a video camera on them), that’s the best thing to use to do a physical inventory of your home and its belongings because you can talk as you walk through your home and describe items without needing to list them on a piece of paper. After you’ve completed a video of your household items, look for the original receipts you got when you bought appliances, your air conditioner, TV or computer, etc. and keep them together with your video. If you use your phone’s video camera, make sure you know how to download the video onto your computer and burn a CD, then store the CD in your safety deposit box, in your desk at work or at the home of a relative or trusted friend. Now you can feel secure that you will be able to tell your home contents insurance broker what items you lost and their value if a disaster strikes.