Entries tagged with “Insurance”.

“I know what I own, why do I need to have an inventory of everything?” OK, try this: Close your eyes and try to name every item in your kitchen pantry; and then imagine having to do that for the entire house! We all have a lot of stuff: Furniture, dishes, flatware, appliances and, of course, all the personal electronics, video games and books. All of this costs money, and if it is lost in a move or other catastrophe, you need to replace it. If it is insured, your insurance company won’t simply take your word about those Faberge eggs and that Picasso. They will want proof.

As Nick Sooy of Farmers Insurance recommends, “In the event of an insurance claim, it will be up to you to provide proof of ownership and value.  Your things are most vulnerable when being moved. An inventory of what you are moving, with its value and condition documented, allows you to determine if you need to buy additional insurance before the move.”

If you don’t yet have a home inventory, the idea of creating one can seem over- whelming, especially if you have been living in your home for a long time. First, start with one room and move to the next. Try to get serial numbers for the big ticket items and write down when, where, and how much you paid for the item. Don’t forget the closets, cupboards, holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, etc. Photographs and video tape items and document a brief description, including age, purchase price and estimated current value.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website is making free Home Inventory applications for iPhone and Android users as well as a home inventory checklist (PDF).

A couple of other mobile apps: My Home Pro for Android and Home Inventory for the iPhone are available at a low cost.

If you are looking for software for your PC you might want to check out Know Your Stuff and What you Own; both are free.

As an added bonus, as you go through this process you may find yourself with a Do Not Need List and an opportunity to downsize or de-clutter along the way.

Guest post by Nicholas Sooy, Farmers Insurance Agency Owner, Bellevue, WA. Nick may be reached at 206-719-8122; his website: http://farmersagent.com/nsooy

Having homeowners insurance and having “accurate” homeowners insurance are two completely different things, especially when there is a home insurance claim. Typically, there are three types of home insurance policies available: owner-occupied; tenant-occupied; and vacant. Who occupies the home, if anyone, distinguishes the correct policy to have in force.

An increasing number of homes on the market are taking a long time to sell, therefore, many of those homes are vacant. A standard home policy allows 30-60 days of incidental coverage for a vacant home. Beyond this timeframe, it is imperative that the policy switches from a standard policy to a vacant policy to ensure any claims would be covered.

Many insurance companies do not offer vacant home policies, and those that do may have higher premiums than owner-occupied policies. Check YOUR insurance; it is important to protect your investment!