Home Inventory: Important Tips for Making One

January 27th, 2013 by admin No comments »

Home Inventory: Important Tips for Making One photoEvery home needs a home inventory updated at least once a year. Homeowners who live in hurricane stricken areas like Florida, coastal regions of Alabama or Louisiana and Texas are used to putting together a home inventory on a regular basis, but for those homeowners who live in the Midwest or in regions of the country without hurricane season abounding, they may think there is no need for a home inventory. This just is not the case!

No matter what part of the country you live in, a home inventory is a must have because fire, flood, and wind or tornado damage as well as theft or lost property can happen to anyone at any time. Not having your home inventoried can make the process of dealing with insurance agents an absolute nightmare, especially if you are trying to visualize from memory everything that was lost, damaged or stolen in your home while speaking to an insurance agent on the phone. The best bet for making sure your household goods are replaced to the fullest extent, is to keep some type of home inventory to help better replace these items.

There are several different ways to inventory the belongings in a home. Of course one of the easiest ways to inventory items is to get a notebook and pen and walk from room to room writing down anything that would or should be replaced in case of damage or loss. Inventorying items this way can be time consuming, but allows for everything in the room to be examined and approximate values to be determined, which should be included on an inventory list. The next step up from pen and paper would be to write the home inventory on a Microsoft excel spreadsheet or simply in a Microsoft Word file.

If the means are available for more hi-tech versions of inventorying home items, this is probably the best option. Simply turn the date and time stamp on the 35mm or digital camera and go from room to room taking pictures of each room, labeling the pictures with item information once the pictures have been developed.

Many homeowners also use video cameras to go around the house recording what each room looks like at a certain time and date. This is a great way to get a live action shot of what the material items look like at present and can easily be handed over to an insurance company.

A few tips to keep in mind when creating an inventory is to always keep receipts for major purchases and store these with the home inventory. The more you can estimate for the Homeowners insurance company the price and date an item was paid for, the more likely a price near that cost will be given back for repayment. If possible, it is also best to write down where the item was purchased at, the model number and a manufacturer’s name.

As well, it is important to always note the date and time on the inventory, and this is why using a still or video camera is a great idea. Although the Homeowners insurance company is supposed to be on the side of the insured, they will be estimating costs at a minimum to save themselves money. So be smart about a home inventory, so that items will be replaced at full cost and in a timely manner.

Remember that it is not necessary to inventory items that would not be missed if they are lost or damaged, such as a paperback novel or a $10 pair of flip-flops, but if you are a book collector who has an extensive collection of antique books or a shoe collector who has hundreds of dollars worth of shoes, be sure to inventory these items.

Of course large items like furniture, artwork, appliances, electronics, large sports equipment, and large outdoor equipment should absolutely be inventoried. It is probably wise to also inventory or at least photograph clothes, home interior accessories, tool sets, kitchenware, and even workout equipment, but the major rule of thumb is to know the value of your own personal property to determine if it is worth adding to a home inventory list.

After the home inventory is created it should be placed somewhere other than the home. This could be stored at a family member or neighbor’s home, although the safest place for a home inventory list is in a safety deposit box or a fire and flood proof security box.

Homeowners Insurance: Choosing a Coverage Amount

January 25th, 2013 by admin No comments »

Homeowners Insurance: Choosing a Coverage Amount photoHomeowners insurance was created to protect homeowners in the event of disasters that threaten their homes and possessions such as fire or theft.  Although these events are occurrences that most people do not even want to consider happening to them, the fact is that they do occur often throughout the country and they must be properly prepared for.  Homeowner’s insurance is the best way to ensure that you are protected from unforeseen damage to your home.  If a major disaster does occur, you will be extremely happy that you have decided to insure your investments.

When you choose to purchase homeowner’s insurance, an insurance company will decide how much money will be allotted to you in your homeowner’s insurance policy.  The amount will depend on the value of your home.  Oftentimes homeowners do not understand why the coverage amount allotted to them is less than the price they paid for their home upon purchase.  This is because the price you purchased your home for is based on the overall value of the home, the land, its location, and a number of other things.  Your homeowners insurance only covers the structure of the home itself, since the land is not considered damaged in the event of any damage to your home covered by the insurance (please note: in the United States homeowners insurance does not cover earthquakes).

There are a few requirements for those who wish to get homeowner’s insurance.  In order to qualify for a homeowner’s insurance policy, you must own the home you are insuring and also live in it.  If you own the home and are renting it out, you will not qualify for homeowner’s insurance.  If you are renting a home you will qualify for renter’s insurance but not homeowner’s insurance.  When shopping around for the right homeowner’s insurance policy for you, you will find that there are a number of types of homeowner’s insurance, depending on what you would like to cover.  Dwelling coverage covers your home and any attached dwelling areas that you do not live in, such as your garage.

Coverage for Other Structures will cover all dwellings on your property from large storage units to garages to guest homes.  Other structures can also be defined as swimming pools, hot tubs, decks, patios and other structures on your land.  Personal property coverage covers the contents of your home.  With personal property coverage not only is your home covered in your insurance policy but all your possessions located within the house that could be stolen or damaged in the event of a disaster are covered as well.  If you have a number of expensive items within your home, this is probably a very good investment for you since you would have a number of large investments at risk in the event of a burglary, fire or other unforeseen event.  Loss of Use coverage is vital if your home is left damaged so badly that you can no longer live in it.  In the event of a disaster that leaves you with no home to live in, this type of homeowner’s insurance will allot you a specific amount of money to cover bills for hotel stays, meals at restaurants, etc.

It is clear that there are a number of options for anyone who wishes to invest in homeowner’s insurance depending on what they wish to insure and how much money they wish to spend on a homeowner’s insurance policy.  No matter what area of the country you live in or how much you home and its contents cost, homeowner’s insurance is truly a must for anyone who owns a home.  In the event of a major disaster homeowner’s insurance can be your only saving grace in preventing you from losing major amounts of money and property.  If you do own a home and do not have homeowner’s insurance get in touch with an insurance provider as soon as possible to make sure the unthinkable does not happen to you.  If you have never invested in homeowner’s insurance before, most local insurance agencies will be happy to have an agent sit down with you and walk you through the logistics of homeowner’s insurance.  It will be one investment you will surely be glad you made.