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Buying Your First Homeowner's Policy? What You Should Know About Personal Property Coverage

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That first home you buy is always exciting. However, when it comes time for the finer details, like getting homeowner's insurance, the process can be confusing. If you don't know how to ensure that you've got enough coverage for the potential hazards, you could find yourself underinsured and struggling if disaster strikes. One of the hardest things to calculate is your personal property coverage limit. Here are a few tips to help you with determining and supporting the value of your personal property.

Start With A Full Inventory

Before you can even try to put a value on your personal possessions, you need to take a full inventory of what you have. Doing this one room at a time is the easiest way to ensure that you account for everything. 

Pick a room and make a detailed list of everything of value in the room. Then, make a general list of other items that you would want to replace if anything happened. Move to the next room and do the same thing, repeating the process until you've covered every room in the house.

Once you have a full list of your possessions, you can start evaluating each item for value. Write down what each item is worth and then total them all up to determine how much you would need to replace it all if you suffered a catastrophic loss. Your personal possessions coverage should not be less than this amount at a minimum.

Consider Additional Protection

If you have any possessions that have a particularly high value, such as expensive jewelry, collectible art, valuable musical instruments, or any other high-value items, you should consider adding additional protection for those items.

You can purchase additional coverage for those items as a personal article rider. This rider will be added to your insurance policy and specifically cover those items. That way, your general personal property coverage can be used for everything else.

When you purchase a rider for any items of high value, you should ensure that you thoroughly document those items and their value. Get pictures of the item and have it appraised to ensure that you have proof of its value for the insurance company. Make copies of those pictures, the appraisal, and any other receipts or documentation you have and provide those to the insurance company to support the rider's coverage limit.

Talk with your insurance agent about any other tips or coverage options that you might need to protect your home and belongings.