Insurers strongly recommend that homeowners maintain thorough, up-to-date inventories of their possessions and valuable personal property. This is a very important practice, as it ensures that you’ll qualify for a full reimbursement in the event of damage, loss or theft.
It’s a good idea to update your inventory every year, or whenever you make a major purchase or add a valuable item to your home. If you’re new to the concept of a personal inventory, or if it’s been a while since you updated yours, start by brushing up on essential tips for building a good one.
How to Create a Personal Inventory
First, it’s essential to understand what qualifies as a “valuable item.” While this differs for every household, your inventory should include all items that would cost a significant amount of money to replace. There’s no minimum threshold for determining “significance,” so use your own best judgment in this regard. However, bear in mind that most lists include items like:
- Antiques and artwork
- Silverware, crystal and fine china
Here is a step-by-step checklist for creating a personal inventory:
- Go through your home room by room, cataloguing everything of value
- Build a digital record of your findings, supported by photographic evidence, and upload it to the Internet (so it can be retrieved even if your home computer or laptop is damaged or destroyed)
- Take photographs of highly valuable items from multiple angles, being sure to clearly show its condition
- Determine the value of the items in two ways: first, note how much the item cost originally, and second, list what it is worth today (taking appreciation or depreciation into account)
- Keep multiple copies of your final list and digital records, storing one in your home, one online and a third at a secure offsite location
Actual Cash Value (ACV) vs. Replacement Cost Coverage
When you’re looking at home insurance in Alberta, or anytime you’re discussing the protection of valuable items, you’ll encounter the terms “actual cash value” (ACV) and “replacement cost” (RC). It’s vital that you understand how these terms differ.
- Actual cash value (ACV) refers to the value of the item in its current condition at the current time
- Replacement value (RV) refers to the amount of money you would have to spend to replace the item with an identical one
When you’re covering your valuables, you will insure either their ACV or their RC (not both), and be reimbursed accordingly if something happens. In some situations, ACV is a better bet, and it’s generally more affordable. However, RV is more comprehensive, offering better protection for highly prized items and delivering enhanced security. Delve deeper into the differences in this article.
What about Renters?
Renters need to protect their personal property as well, since valuables won’t be covered by the landlord’s property insurance policy if something happens to them. Tenant insurance is highly recommended, and renters should also maintain comprehensive personal property inventories just as homeowners do.
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Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage, offering outstanding home insurance resources to homeowners throughout the province. Because Lane’s Insurance is a brokerage, its representatives work for you, not for the insurance companies. You’re always guaranteed to get the most inclusive, complete coverage on the market at the most competitive possible rates, all with value-added service and outstanding clams support.