Don’t underinsure the contents of your home. Estimate the value of your possessions and update your inventory at least once a year. Remember to include taxes. If the value of your possessions is greater than the amount of contents coverage specified in your policy, have it changed accordingly. Minimum contents coverage for homeowners is normally a percentage of the value of the building.
It's a good idea to have an alarm system installed in your home. It's equally important for it to be well maintained and in good operating order. Do regular testing with your monitored alarm company to ensure that all systems are working properly. Make sure that all key holders know the alarm code and password and make sure that they have a key to your home in the event that you are away. The alarm company should also know who your key holders are and their phone numbers.
If you own expensive household items such as stereo equipment, television sets or appliances, you should always record the serial numbers found on the items. This information should be put away in a safe place such as a safety deposit box. In the event of a home break-in, this information will prove invaluable to the police in helping track down your property. If you have a video camera or a regular camera, it would also be a wise idea to catalogue valuable items in the event they are lost or stolen. This information is most beneficial when settling insurance claims.
It's a nice summer day and you are out in your back yard doing some gardening. No one else is home. Make sure to lock your front door and secure your front windows. It is not uncommon for sophisticated thieves to watch homes and gain entry while the occupants are in their backyard working on projects.
If you plan to renovate your home or make any other significant alterations to the structure or the way it is used, be sure to tell your insurance representative. For insurance to work well, full disclosure of the risk is required. With insurance, the best surprise is no surprise at all.
An up-to-date inventory of your possessions and a record of their value will be helpful to you, your insurer, police and others in the event of a burglary or fire. After a loss, if may be difficult for you to recall the details of things that are now damaged or missing. Some people like to make a drawer-by-drawer, room-by-room video recording of their possessions; some use a regular camera.