5 Steps to evaluate your belongings for your home insurance

Presented by PMA Agency
When choosing home insurance, it's important to accurately evaluate the value of your possessions to ensure you have adequate coverage. You probably have a rough idea of how much your most significant possessions are worth, but do you know the total value of your home’s contents? In case of disaster or theft, your insurance company will ask you to estimate the overall value of all your possessions to compensate you adequately. The steps below will help you to make an accurate evaluation for your home insurance, to make sure you’re well-protected in case of a claim.
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1. Take inventory of your belongings, small and large

The first step is to take an inventory of all your possessions. Take the time to make a complete list, including furniture, appliances, valuables such as jewellery or artwork, as well as clothing and accessories. Don't forget to also note electronic equipment, musical instruments and any other valuable items you own. With the help of this structured approach, you'll already be an expert when the time comes to list smaller items or objects of lesser importance. You can also take photos or videos of your belongings, to simplify the claims process in case of a claim. This visual documentation can serve as concrete proof in case of loss or damage. Make sure these photos and videos are easily accessible if you don't have your phone, in the Cloud or by email, for example. You can also send them to a trusted person.

2. Keep in mind that things can change

It's important to note that the value of the possessions you own usually does not remain constant over time, but can go either up or down. Keep this in mind when you make your inventory and estimate the value of your possessions. Once the inventory is complete, you must estimate the replacement value of each item. It’s a good idea to consult experts such as professional appraisers or insurance brokers to help you estimate the current value of your possessions considering their age, condition and market value.

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3. Get expert advice

Don't hesitate to ask for help! Several experts can possessions  you when it comes time to estimate the value of a specific item. Don't hesitate to call on them for any items where you are unsure of the value. A qualified art dealer can help you with your paintings or other works of art, for example. This will help the claims adjuster determine whether you are entitled to the replacement value without a deduction for depreciation, or the value on the day of the claim in case of a claim.

Contact your insurance representative to find out about the exclusions and limitations of your home insurance policy. Some more rare or valuable items, such as jewellery or artwork, may require specific insurance. You can find more details in our article "Do I need additional insurance for my valuables?". You can also consult the details of your home insurance policy in the Client Centre or the Intact Insurance App.

4. Save your list

Document a comprehensive inventory of your possessions and ensure you have multiple copies. This allows you to email it to the relevant people such as your spouse or roommate, save it in the Cloud or secure it in a safe. You can also share this inventory directly with your insurance company. It will then already be on file should you need to start a claims process. It's a good idea to keep your important paper records, tax statements, receipts and warranties, government documents and other important papers off-site or in a fire or water-resistant safe. This will give you greater peace of mind and better protection in case of unexpected events.

5. Keep your inventory updated

It's essential to regularly update your inventory, whether you purchase new, more expensive items, increase the value of your existing assets or give away or throw out contents of your home. To simplify the process, keep receipts of your new purchases. This will allow you to easily manage the inventory of your possessions over time. You should also reevaluate your possessions at least once a year and update your insurance accordingly, if necessary.

Protect what matters to you

The evaluation and inventory of your possessions for your home insurance is a crucial step to ensure adequate coverage in case of a claim. By taking inventory of your belongings, estimating their replacement value and considering exclusions from your home insurance policy, you can ensure you have the necessary protections for your needs and are properly protected. Don't forget to take photos or videos of your possessions, regularly update your inventory so you can choose the right level of home insurance coverage and modify your policy if your situation changes.

It's more than just things; get enhanced home insurance coverage to protect your most valuable belongings now!

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Insurance Bureau of Canada – ​5 Tips for Making a Home Inventory: http://www.ibc.ca/yt/home/risk-management/home-inventory