Ugh, weather, am I right? It’s been strange in my corner of Connecticut – too cold, too hot, too snowy, and too stormy. Is it just me, or did the weather used to be mild and predictable in this state?
Spring and summer 2013 brought us wildly swinging temps and record-breaking rains. In the past few years we’ve endured major devastation from hurricanes, multiple snow storms, and tornadoes. And that’s just our corner of the world. It’s been tough all over.
You know you should have insurance to cover these disasters, don’t you? Contact your insurance company regularly to see if your most recent purchases and improvements are on your policy.
Once you have the right coverage, make sure you can prove that you actually had stuff that was worth an insurance claim. It’s not enough to say “I had a big screen TV. It was right there before the hurricane took down the north wall.”
You should have…
- Photos or videos of valuable belongings with multiple views. Do front, side, and back with close-ups of identifying words or numbers like serial numbers, make, model and even the artist’s signature on artwork.
- Original receipts with scanned copies for safekeeping. Try to keep proof of the date purchased, the store or website, and serial numbers if applicable.
- Appraisals for valuable items such as artwork, jewelry, collectibles, and home improvements.
If you’re not sure, ask your insurance company to tell you how they want you to document your stuff.
Don’t think you’re safe just because you have homeowner’s insurance. Basic policies are the least expensive option because they don’t cover high risk items or types of damage. Are you covered for floods or tornadoes? Is your fence, pool, or home addition covered?
Be prepared to purchase additional coverage if the excluded items are valuable to you. And update your policy annually as new items are purchased and old items are removed.
Keep your proof of ownership in a safe place! And keep it in more than one place!
Sure, keep a copy at home or on your computer. But nature will laugh at your flimsy paper and fragile hardware. They’re no match for a flood, fire or tornado.
Keep a copy off site (safe deposit boxes, clouds, the insurance company itself, etc.) Being prepared will save you countless wasted and tearful phone calls with your insurance agent if disaster strikes.