Consumers Need to Know Their “Stuff” to Ensure Homeowners Policy Protects Possessions

LANSING, MI – April 26, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — When choosing homeowners insurance, most Michigan consumers may think more about the value of the home than about their prized possessions inside. When you’re deciding out how much coverage you need, it is important to know all the “stuff” in your home that warrants special protection. Certain valuables might be better covered with an insurance rider or additional policy, depending on the circumstances.

The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) today offered tips to complete a home inventory.

“The first step toward figuring out how much coverage you need is to take stock of what you have,” OFIR Commissioner Kevin Clinton said. “Documenting possessions allows you to fully protect and replace your valuables if something happens.”

OFIR’s Ten Steps to Complete a Home Inventory:

1. Make a list of possessions, including “celebration” purchases, such as jewelry and fine art.
2. Think about family heirlooms, collections and furniture. Also, consider items related to everyday leisure time, from flat-screen televisions to custom guitars.
3. Take note of commonplace items, such as toys, CDs and clothing. And, do not forget items you may only use occasionally, such as holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, and high-ticket items kept outside your home, such as landscape and swing sets.
4. Attach copies of original sales receipts and/or appraisal documents to your inventory. Be sure to note model and serial numbers.
5. Group your possessions into logical categories, i.e., by hobby, by room in your home.
6. Carefully photograph or videotape each item and document a brief description, including age, purchase price and estimated current value.
7. Remember to open drawers and closets to document what is inside.
8. Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily accessible place, such as a secured site/file online, a fire-proof box or in a safe deposit box. You may want to share a copy with your insurance provider to make necessary updates to your coverage.
9. Review and update your inventory annually and anytime you make a significant purchase.
10. To get started, you can out the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s simple home inventory checklist at www.insureuonline.org/home_inventory_checklist.pdf

Contact:
Jason Moon 517-335-1700
http://twitter.com/miofir

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