One of the most common questions we get from clients here at Vital Life Insurance is:
How much is my stuff really worth?
We understand the behind this question our clients are really looking for guidance on how much insurance coverage is enough to protect their personal belongings without overspending on monthly premiums.
In order to help guide you in the right direction, we put this handy little guide together for you to refer to if you’re ever wondering how much coverage you need and where to go to find out.
First, let’s start out with what standard Homeowners and Renters insurance policies cover.
With most insurance companies, a homeowners policy automatically includes 50 to 70 percent of the total Coverage A (Structure Coverage) for your Coverage C (Personal Property). For example, if your home was covered for $275,000 in Coverage A (Structure Coverage), then typically, your policy will include $125,000 for personal property.
Personal belongings include things such as furniture, clothes, sports equipment, etc. and are covered if they are stolen or destroyed by fire, hurricane or other insured disasters.
Renters policies are different than homeowners policies when it comes to personal belongings coverage because it is up to the policy holder to determine how much coverage they would like.
Typically, insurance companies require that renters policies have a minimum of $25,000 in personal property coverage. However, many renters underestimate the full value of all of their belongings and often choose this minimum amount of coverage.
We always recommend strongly considering a higher amount of personal property coverage on renters insurance policies because of how affordable it is to increase the Coverage C amount by significant levels.
Why It Matters
Regardless of whether you have a homeowners insurance policy or a renters insurance policy, it’s important that you know the value of your personal belongings.
This is very important because it helps to ensure that you are properly covered in the event of an incident. It also gives you a piece of mind in knowing that you are not overpaying for insurance.
Our Favorite Tools for Determining the Value of Your Stuff
KnowYourStuff is the Insurance Information Institute’s free online home inventory software. This great website makes creating and updating your home inventory easy and efficient. And they offer free, secure online storage so that you have access to your inventory anywhere, any time.
Our friends over at all state have a nifty program that allows you to do the work yourself – and it’s as easy as can be!
They have more than 8 major categories of household and personal items to choose from. From clothing to electronics all the way down to garden and lawn items, this tool is interactive and actually quite fun to use.
For all of the art and antique collectors out there or for those people who simply ended up with a pile of old goodies (it does happen) there’s WorthPoint.
WorthPoint is the largest resource for identifying, researching and valuing antiques, art and vintage collectibles. You can explore more than 300 million items and images online from both auction houses and online marketplaces.
It’s never too early or too late to take a full home inventory and get a nearly-perfect estimate on what all of your stuff is really worth. Start with the resources above and you’ll be well on your way to the correct valuation and coverage.
In the meantime, if you ever have any questions about homeowners or renters insurance, or insurance in general for that matter, feel free to contact us any time, day or night, with questions.