A Home Insurance Inventory of All Your Valuables

Home burglaries are on the rise, and law officials are tying the cause to the current economy. Have you taken a home insurance inventory of all your new holiday gifts? Did you know that if you were one of the many victims who had their new flat screen TVs, digital cameras, new computers, or jewelry stolen, that your home insurance policy limits coverage of valuables to $1,000 for jewelry and $5,000 for antique furniture and electronics--combined?

In addition to taking precautions to prevent criminals from breaking into your home, it's smart to take a home insurance inventory of all your new holiday valuables and add an endorsement, or floater, to your home insurance policy. For a small, additional amount per year, you'll be able to protect all those new holiday gifts and start your New Year off on the right foot.

  • Taking Home Insurance Inventory -- An effective way to take inventory of all your valuables is to use that new digital video or digital camera you received during the holidays. Going around your house, take digital images of all the items you want covered on your home insurance endorsement, remembering to include serial numbers of electronic items. It's also important to keep all your receipts in a safe place, keeping extra copies in your safe deposit box, or scanning and keeping electronic copies of receipts on your computer (just make sure to back it up).
  • Actual Cost Value vs. Replacement Cost - Just like a new car, electronics such as a flat screen TV loses value the minute you drive it off the parking lot. So it's important to know that there are two types of endorsements for coverage of valuable items--the actual cost value of the item determined by the insurance company versus the full retail cost you would receive to replace the lost, stolen or damaged item. While replacement cost coverage does cost a bit more, talk to your insurance agent to determine which type of coverage works best for you.
  • Valuables Appraisal -- In line with the actual cost value versus replacement cost coverage, if you're adding an endorsement for a new piece of jewelry or valuable antique, you'll need to determine the level of coverage through an appraisal. As with the purchase receipts, keep an extra copy of all appraisal documents in a safe place.
  • Keep Your Home Safe -- It's also smart to take precautions to prevent criminals from breaking into your home in the first place.
    • Use sensor lights outside your property.
    • Automatic timers for inside lights will give the impression that someone is always home, even when you're not.
    • Install a security alarm and heavy grade locks. Ask your insurance agent about potential discounts on your homeowners insurance policy you can receive as a result of these security measures.
    • Install solid core or metal doors, along with double-pane deadbolt windows, which can be a significant deterrent for criminals.

See how much you could save today on your home insurance. Get your free home insurance quotes today!