Before you renew your home insurance each year, take the time to perform a comprehensive home evaluation. Keeping a detailed list of your personal belongings – especially those of value – will provide your insurance provider with necessary information if something is damaged or stolen. There are plenty of home evaluation templates available online or through your insurance broker or provider, and they don’t have to be overly time-consuming or difficult to fill out. A couple hours worth of effort can save you major headaches if you have to file a claim and are unable to accurately list your possessions.
What Should be Included in Your Home Evaluation
Home evaluations vary in size and scope, but there are a few must-have details that should definitely be included.
- A list of everything in each room in your house such as furniture, electronics, jewellery and artwork.
- All of your major appliances.
- Custom builds like kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities.
- Curtains, blinds and draperies.
- Bedding such as sheets, duvets and pillows.
- Items like lamps and lighting, photos, accessories and knick-knacks.
- Shoes, coats and wardrobes can cost a lot to replace! Don’t forget to include each item of your wardrobe.
- Tools and seasonal equipment.
- Sports equipment and camping gear.
- Contact numbers for your insurance provider or broker.
- Your insurance policy number and particulars like the coverage amount, deductible and expiry date.
Make note of the purchase cost or value of each item, and if possible attach copies of receipts and appraisals. Also be sure to copy down any serial numbers. Take pictures or video footage of absolutely everything, and experts recommend keeping all of your pictures on a memory stick.
Once you have completed the evaluation, considering the valuable information it contains it’s a wise idea to store it and your memory stick of photos in a secure location, preferably off the premises. It’s the kind of document – such as birth certificates, passports, tax receipts and credit card numbers – that is best kept in a safety deposit box.
Special Limits on Home Insurance Policies
Home insurance policies contain “special limits” for valuables like artwork, cash, jewellery, collectibles, sports equipment and high-end electronics. They indicate the maximum amount that the policy will pay if certain valuable items are involved in a home insurance claim. Special limits vary by policy and provider, but often cover far less than the value of the items in your home. For example, the special limit for jewellery is typically quite low, at around $5,000 for all of the jewellery in the home, combined. Since collections are frequently worth significantly more than $5,000, this is one of the first limits you’ll want to check in your home insurance policy.
Update When You Renovate, Too
Renovations add value to your home, so it is imperative to let your insurance provider know when you make upgrades. In fact, some companies require you do so. Also ensure you keep a detailed record of everything from the cost of labour cost to the materials you use so you can be sure of the replacement cost.
Discounts for Upgrades
Depending on your insurance provider’s coverage policies, you might be able to qualify for lower home insurance rates if you have:
- Switched over to safer copper wiring
- Changed to an energy-saving tankless water heater
- Installed fire-resistant rubber roofing
- Used sump pumps and backflow valves to reduce your chances of suffering water damage
- Installed automatic sprinkler systems that will turn on if a fire breaks out
You may also qualify for upgrades if you install a home security system, especially if your choose a package from a reputable provider that includes 24/7/365 home monitoring. These packages typically come with monthly service fees, but your potential insurance savings could provide a nice subsidy.
Home Insurance in Calgary: Get the Lane’s Team Working for You
Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage. Choosing a broker is a wise move for consumers looking to protect their interests when dealing with insurance providers. Brokers work for you, not the insurance companies, so they always look out for your best interests and they never recommend products that don’t fit your need just for the sake of making a sale.
In addition to home insurance, Lane’s Insurance offers a complete range of policies and coverage options for just about every imaginable situation. You can count on Lane’s for great rates on auto, business, travel and health insurance, and more.
Lane’s Insurance is pleased to serve homeowners and residents throughout Alberta. Use the following regional links to contact us at:
- Our Calgary office
- Our Edmonton office
- Our Banff office
- Serving the rest of Alberta