Insuring Your Personal Property

There are generally two ways to insure your personal belongings: Replacement Cost Coverage and Actual Cash Value.

Replacement Cost Coverage – This coverage will pay the costs to replace damaged personal property with items of like kind or quality without reduction for depreciation.

Actual Cash Value – This coverage will pay the costs equal to the replacement value of damaged property less depreciation. Unless your homeowners policy specifies that property is covered for its replacement value, the coverage is for actual cash value.

Here are a few ways you can make sure you have enough insurance protection:

  • Check the coverage limits on your policy (Coverage C) for personal items, such as jewelry, silverware, furs, and computer equipment. If you believe the limits don't accurately reflect the value of your property, consider buying a special personal property endorsement to add coverage for additional or special items.

  • Make an inventory (pdf) of everything you own in your home and in other buildings on the property (serial numbers, make and model numbers, purchase prices, and so on). Don't include any vehicles; they must be insured separately.

  • Don't forget to include your furniture, appliances, stereos, computers and other electronic equipment, hobby materials and recreational equipment, china, linens, silverware and kitchen equipment, jewelry, and clothing.

  • Take either still or video pictures of these items. Store copies of your receipts, inventory checklist and visual records away from your home.

  • Add major purchases to the inventory and visual record soon after the purchase.

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