We have a subscription to The Family Handyman magazine. To be honest, we considering dropping our subscription each year, not because it isn’t a good magazine, but because very few of the projects pertain to us. About once a year, though, we find a really great project or article that reminds us why we renew. This year it’s an article called, “Avoid Insurance Surprises” by Lucie Amundsen, June 2018.
This was a wake-up call for us. We have house insurance, of course, but the article suggested that we make an appointment to have our insurance agent explain our policy in plain English, layman’s terms, so we really understood what we had. Were we SURE we had replacement insurance, rather than a lump sum that wouldn’t cover everything? How do they determine replacement cost? What do they think our house is worth? Is the well house covered? What about the shop? The greenhouse? Are we covered if our basement floods due to septic tank backup? Are all our contents covered? What restrictions do we have? What ISN’T covered? What has limits? Are there any discounts for the security stuff we installed? What would we do if we had a claim? What information would they need? Are there any endorsements or coverages we SHOULD have, but didn’t think of?
After spending 45 minutes with our agent this morning, we feel MUCH more secure. We did increase the coverage on our basement because that was limited and the limit was iffy, in our case. We DO have some homework to do. We make a DVD which has a picture of each thing we have that cost over $100. We take a pic of the receipt, too. We update it every 6 months, burning a DVD for our safe deposit box at the bank and another for our insurance agent. That’s good, but we could do better.
The first thing you’ll have to do in case of fire loss, or being blown to smithereens by a tornado, is to fill out endless forms listing each thing you lost, where you bought it and when, what you paid, etc. I’m going to do a spreadsheet using a copy of a claim form our agent gave me, so that I can go through our DVD and have a typed list I’ll put in the safe deposit box at the bank. I’ll also take more pics (like 4 views of each room) because I want to be sure that all we’ve lost can be identified.
We hope we’ll never need to file a claim, but losses happen in a matter of seconds sometimes, and it would sure be harder to list things when we’re wearing the only clothes we have on our backs and have a pen and a claim form in hand……