The gifts have been opened and the tree sent to the curb – but do your clients have adequate coverage for all those new, expensive goodies that Santa brought them?
The start of the New Year is an excellent time to touch base with your client to have them review their home insurance policy and update their inventory.
“Maintaining an inventory protects you in the event of theft or damage to your home or condo’s contents,” says Alex Walker, national claims director for RSA. “Having an inventory helps ensure you have the right amount of coverage and may also help speed up the claims settlement process after a loss.”
Walker shares these tips that you can pass along to your clients to ensure that their possessions are adequately protected in the New Year:
• Put together a home inventory worksheet. Keep your inventory list in a safety deposit box or other safe place away from home. Remember to update your inventory as needed. Move from room-to-room and take photos or video footage of all of your valuable possessions.
• Note the approximate replacement value of each item, along with their makes, models, serial numbers, receipts, credit card statements and other identifying marks. They can serve as proof of ownership in the event that they are stolen, lost or damaged.
• If you can – record the serial numbers of large items (like flat panel TVs, home computers or even tablets). In the event of a theft – it may help the police prosecute the criminals and aid with the recovery process.
• A picture is worth a thousand words. It is always good to have photographic proof of your belongings … especially jewellery items.
• If you received any new electronics, jewellery, computers or other specialty items over the holiday as gifts, it is important to ensure that you review your coverage limits and increase as needed. Do not show off your new items on social media… that is a good way to let the world know about your new possessions and increase the potential for theft.
• If you are planning on taking a trip – be sure to limit your social media posts as well since you could be advertising that your home is vacant.
• Renters, remember that your landlord’s insurance policy typically does not cover your personal belongings or liability. It is up to you to ensure you have coverage in place. It is important for renters to keep a list of their belongings in case of theft, loss or damage.
“I always tell my family and friends that there is no substitute for a professional independent insurance broker or agent,” says Walker. “They are one of the most important and trusted advisors that we can have to protect our financial security and well-being.”
You can share Alex Walker’s tips along with your clients along with this helpful inventory checklist
with your clients via email.