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How to Protect Your Property from Damage or Theft

It’s taken years to accumulate all your possessions, many of which are very valuable. Unfortunately, life is unpredictable, and you may unexpectedly lose items that are dear to you. If your home has ever been broken into or a fire has ravaged your property, you know all too well.

Even if you haven’t personally faced a tragic disaster in your life, you’re wise to protect against the possibility of property loss with renters or homeowners insurance. For a reasonable monthly rate, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing you’ll receive compensation if your household goods are damaged, destroyed or stolen. Consider the different types of coverage you should pursue to protect your belongings in different scenarios.

Personal Property Coverage

Your home is valuable, but so are the belongings inside it. The personal property coverage portion of your renters or homeowners insurance policy helps cover the cost of replacing goods that succumb to certain “perils” specified in your policy, such as fire, theft and vandalism.

Typically, your belongings are covered both at home and on the road if you take them with you on your travels. This means if your jewelry is stolen from your hotel room or your laptop is damaged on an airline flight, these possessions should still be covered.

For adequate coverage of your most valuable belongings, it’s important to create a home inventory that includes pictures of the items you specifically want covered along with either the actual cash value minus depreciation or the replacement cost value to purchase the item new at the time you make a claim. Common items protected by personal property coverage include furniture, clothing, jewelry and electronics. Be aware of coverage limits that may apply to your policy.

Scheduled Personal Property Coverage

Most renters and homeowners insurance policies have a set value limit for single items – for example, $1,000 for a computer or piece of artwork – or a group limit for a category of belongings – such as $2,500 for an entire jewelry collection. If your policy limit doesn’t provide adequate coverage, you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage, also called a floater, for more comprehensive protection for specific high-value belongings.

In addition to increasing your coverage limit, scheduled personal property coverage also gives you a broader range of protection. For example, besides coverage against perils such as theft and fire, scheduled coverage protects against accidental loss or damage. This means you could be compensated if you inadvertently leave your high-end laptop in your hotel room or accidentally drop your wedding ring down the drain.

You may be asked to have your high-value belongings professionally appraised to prove their value before you can take out a floater policy. This tells the insurer the value of the item you want covered is accurate. Keep in mind that you’re expected to pay out of pocket to have a third party appraise your possessions.

Natural Disaster Coverage

While a typical homeowners insurance policy covers fires, lightning strikes, windstorms and hail, other natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods usually aren’t covered. For full protection, you may want to purchase earthquake, flood or other storm insurance coverage if you live in an area prone to these natural disasters.

If you lose your home or belongings in a flood, fire or other disaster, it’s great to know you have insurance to cover the cost of replacing your possessions. However, you still need help from a restoration company to make your home livable again. For water damage cleanup, fire and smoke restoration, or mold remediation, please contact Rainbow International®.