Local Expert Blog: Help Protect Your Possessions; Take Inventory Of Your Home!

Saturday November 25th, 2017

Posted at 11:00am


If you had to make an insurance claim, after a fire, theft or natural disaster, would you remember everything you owned, and more importantly, how much it all was worth? As a property owner or tenant, the contents inside your home are often more important to you than the structure itself. Your possessions, including furniture, jewellery, artwork, and electronics are all things you have worked hard for and love, which is why having a home inventory is vital to help you get an accurate replacement value; and to ensure you can return to a normal life more quickly following a loss.

Tour your home. Take a walk through each room of your home and make a list and take photos of all your possessions – individual items as well as shots of the whole room to capture valuables in their place.Store the photos and information – such as the make, model, appraisals and serial numbers (where appropriate)in a safe place. Don’t forget to record the small stuff like books, holiday decorations or tools in the garage or basement too. These items may seem small or insignificant but can amount to thousands of dollars.

Hold on to important documents.Include receipts, warranties and instruction manuals with your inventory, which can serve as proof of ownership to an insurance adjuster. Remember, your insurance company can’t go by your word alone, so it’s in your best interest to have proof to help ensure you are compensated according to the terms of your insurance policy.

Keep it current. Once your home inventory is in place, the hard part is done. But it’s important to keep it up-to-date. The best way to keep your inventory current is to get in the habit of taking pictures of your new purchases and adding the photos and receipts to your records. This will also help keep your total value current.

Call your agent. After conducting a home inventory, it’s a good idea to walk through your home insurance policy with your agent and review the value of your possessions to see if you need additional coverage. While most of your possessions are covered under a typical property insurance policy, you may need more coverage if values exceed certain limits. For example, some home policies have limits in terms of jewellery and/or collectibles, so it’s a good idea to look into obtaining endorsements or extra coverage to ensure the value of your possessions are fully insured. And if you’re a tenant, you will need contents insurance. Lastly, you’ll also want to check if your policy has replacement costs or cash value at the time of loss. “Underinsured” is not a word you want to hear, especially after a loss occurs.

Starting a home inventory can seem daunting, but Allstate Canada has tools that can help. Contact us for a copy of our homeowners checklist or, if you’re an Allstate customer, check out MyLocker, a digital inventory system available through myAllstate to help categorize your belongings and ensure you have a record of your possessions.

A little effort can go a long way in helping to speed up your claims process, saving you time and inconvenience if the unexpected happens.

Interested in learning more? Call the Walker Road Allstate Agency at 519-969-4466, or better yet, feel free to stop by the office. For more helpful tips and information, visit the GOOD HANDS blog at goodhandsadvice.ca.

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