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R&R Insurance Blog

Creating a Home Inventory | Tips & Tricks

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 11:52 AM

Home-Inventory.pngIf someone asked you to create a list of every possession in your home today, how many items do you think you’d remember? Think about just one room. Can you envision what’s in every drawer, hanging on each wall, or sitting on the shelves?

Under the unfortunate circumstance your home is destroyed, your insurance company will ask for a complete home inventory.  Your current insurance contract most likely reads something along the lines of: “Prepare an inventory of damaged personal property showing the quantity, description, actual cash value and amount of loss. Attach all bills, receipts and related documents that justify the figures in the inventory.” In order for you to receive payment to buy new items, you will be required to complete a home inventory.

Home inventories can be completed in the form of a printed list, through photos and video, or even digitally via apps. West Bend Mutual provides the following checklist to help you through the process:

  • The more detailed your inventory, the better. That being said, don’t make it too complicated. An easy way to do a home inventory is go from room to room, photographing or videotaping the contents of each room, then jotting down descriptions and details. Don’t forget your closets, cupboards, and drawers. And be sure to include the basement and garage.
  • Your inventory should have:
    • Brand names and serial numbers of products;
    • Digital photographs, preferably stored on a disc or flash drive; and
    • Receipts. If you don't save receipts, it’s a good time to start.
  • More expensive items like jewelry, collections, furs, and other valuables are limited in the amount covered. If the value of these kinds of items exceeds the limits, be sure to insure them separately. You may need appraisals to do this.  Once you have an inventory and appraisals, store them in a safe deposit box away from home.
  • Keep your inventory current. Update it every year, especially if you buy, sell, or give away items. Failing to keep your inventory updated could result in not enough (or too much) insurance coverage.
  • Once you’ve got your inventory (whatever form it takes), make sure to protect it. Store it in a safety deposit box, in a strong safe or lockbox, on a cloud storage service, at work, or with a friend. Just make sure it’ll survive if there’s ever major damage to your home. Remember that’s what it’s there for!

Having your home inventory complete prior to a loss is highly recommended. The devastation of losing your home and possessions is unthinkable and can cause an incredible amount of stress in itself. Ideally you’ll never need to file a homeowner's insurance claim. However, an updated inventory can make the process faster and easier, and help you get the most from your insurance. It also provides you with peace of mind, knowing all of your possessions will be accounted for.

Contact a KnowledgeBroker for more information.

Topics: complete a home inventory, home inventory, homeowners insurance, homeowner's insruance

Dog Coughs Up Lost Wedding Ring: What Happens to Recovered Property?

Posted by Brian Bean

Mon, Jul 07, 2014 @ 04:14 AM

dog ate wedding ringYou may have seen the news story on June 30, 2014 about a Stevens Point woman who lost her wedding ring five or six years ago. She searched everywhere, but could not find it.

 

Last week the woman’s granddaughter was eating a popsicle when the dog stole and ate it. The dog coughed up the popsicle stick shortly afterwards. Two days later the dog started coughing up again and threw up the wedding ring that had been missing for the last 6 years. The veterinarian believes that the stick dislodged the ring from the dog’s stomach.

 

Other than being an interesting story that captured some national headlines, the whole incident brings up some insurance issues:

  • First, the woman comments that six years ago she had just upgraded the ring and had failed to insure it. This highlights the importance of obtaining a personal articles floater to cover valuable items.
  • Secondly, let’s assume that she had insured the ring and the insurance company paid her for the loss six years ago. Now that the ring has been recovered, what should the woman do?

 

Most policies are very clear: she must report the ring’s recovery to the insurance company that paid for the loss. The insurance company owns the salvage value of the recovered ring.

 

Nearly every property insurance policy, whether it is Homeowners, Business Property, Inland Marine, commercial or personal automobile policy, has a Recovered Property Condition in some form.

 

The Recovered Property Condition states that if either you, or your insurance company, recover the property after a loss settlement, then you must promptly notify the other party.

 

You have the option of retaining the recovered property. However, you must return payment to your insurance carrier. The insurance company will pay for recovery expenses and the expenses to repair the property subject to the Limit of Insurance.

 

If you decide that you do not want the recovered property, then your insurance company will sell the property to recoup some of the loss.

 

Over my years of handling claims, I have seen this process play out with recovered jewelry, stolen bikes, cars, and construction equipment.

 

Luckily, this story had a happy ending even though the woman had an extensive cleaning job to do.

Related articles:

 

 

Topics: Wisconsin, Personal Insurance, protecting your jewelry, Real Life Examples, Dog swallows wedding ring, is my jewelry covered?, schedule your jewelry, Lost jewelry, homeowners, homeowners insurance, Recovered Property Condition

Think Twice Before Switching Insurance Companies

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Wed, Jun 15, 2011 @ 05:25 AM

You should think twice before switching homeowners insurance - it could end up costing you money!

Lately, there's no shortage of commercials on TV trying to get you to switch to a new insurance company for "savings". It may not, however, be as easy as they make it out to be. Here are some key points from a great article by by Hank Coleman.

You'll Lose Discounts By Jumping Around

Most insurance companies have a built-in automatic discount if you've been with them for several years. If you begin to chase better insurance rates around the internet and through other companies that have strong advertising campaigns, you run the risk of losing this discount that you used to enjoy from your previous insurance company. Also keep in mind that if you split up your home and auto policies with different carriers, you also lose the multiple policy discount.

Missing The Fine Print

If you change homeowners insurance, be sure to read the fine print of your new policy. Does it require you to get a home inspection and new improvements made before your policy takes effect?

  • Lesson learned: One North Carolina woman recently switched her homeowners policy to a new insurance carrier only to find out that she needed to make over $4,000 worth of repairs to her aging home to begin her new coverage. It would not have been a major issue except for the fact that she had already canceled her original homeowners insurance before finding out about the expensive upgrades she had to make to her home. The upgrades now have all but negated the cost savings she would have enjoyed by switching insurance companies for years to come.

If you are considering switching, make sure that you're working with an agent that can give you multiple quotes and one that has the knowledge to discuss your options. Wisconsin residents should contact knowledgebroker, Dan Wolfgram, for more information.

Topics: Personal Insurance, change insurance, losing discounts, saving money, homeowners insurance, insurance costs, switching insurance