To make sure your home is adequately covered by your homeowners insurance policy for loss from fire, theft, or severe weather:
Home Inventory: Compile a detailed, current home inventory list—backed up with photos or video—to document your home and contents. Keep a copy of the inventory stored safely outside your home, such as in a safe deposit box, on a secure online backup service, or with a relative that lives in another part of the country.
Home Improvements: Document any improvements you make to your house—such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, new flooring, or a new deck—and make sure the improvement are included in your homeowners insurance.
Watch this video to find out more.
- Understanding Homeowners Insurance Declaration Page (video)
- Home Insurance Policy Limits (video)
- Documenting Your Valuables (video)
- How to Prepare Your Own Home Inventory Report (article)
Danny Lipford: For most people their home is the biggest investment they’ll ever make. And that’s good because houses, unlike many other things we buy, continue to appreciate in value in most cases. For that reason most people realize how important it is to protect that investment by buying homeowners insurance to protect against any damage from fire or severe weather.
Now, insurance agents tell us all the time how important it is to document all of your contents in your home to make sure you’re adequately covered. Well, that’s certainly a good idea, but if you’re like me, your house itself is changing all the time.
Some of the appreciation we realize in our homes comes from the improvements we make. Maybe you’ve replaced the old carpet in the family room last year with hardwood floors, or added a new deck in the backyard. These things not only improve the quality of your home, but they also increase the amount for which it should be insured.
With each renewal of your homeowners policy, you should receive a description of what is being covered. This document describes the property, its estimated value, and the estimated cost to replace it.
Take a look at your insurance policy, and make sure it accurately describes your house as it is now. If it doesn’t you’ll need to make those changes by calling your insurance agent. And if the changes are fairly significant, it may increase your premium. But you’ll have the security of knowing that your house is properly covered.