Three Ways to Take a Home Inventory

The new year is a great time to take stock of your household belongings and update your home inventory. If you experience a fire, theft, or other significant loss, the insurance company will ask for a list of your belongings. This can be hard to remember, particularly during a stressful time.

A full home inventory makes your claims process easier if you have a loss.

Here are some different methods you might use:

Video Records Use the video feature on your smartphone to walk through your home room-by-room and pan over your belongings. Include an audio commentary noting any significant items, and capturing any info about quantity, age, or price that seems relevant. Open cabinets, drawers, and closets to record those contents, and remember to review your basement and garage storage, too.

Make each room or level of your home a separate video to keep file sizes manageable. Label or tag your video files and back them up to the cloud. Or store your videos on a jump drive you’ll keep offsite.

Mobile Apps You can find several home inventory apps online, including Know Your Stuff created by the Insurance Information Institute. These apps help your track more detailed information, including model and serial numbers, photos, and scans of your receipts and appraisals. Some apps include reporting features that allow you to export your data to PDF or Excel- ideal if you ever have to report a loss.

Mobile apps provide a handy way to update your home inventory on an ongoing basis, as you buy new goods throughout the year. Whenever you make a notable purchase, snap a picture of the item and the receipt right away.

Manual Records If you’re not a smartphone user, or you just prefer the tangible nature of paper records, you might like the home inventory checklist from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This printable form helps walk you through the main rooms of your house and includes reminders for miscellaneous items you’ll want to record.

Whichever method you choose, remember to make copies and store them offside, in the cloud, in a safe- deposit box, or with a trusted friend. You don’t want your only records kept on a computer or phone that could be stolen or lost. An up-to-date home inventory makes the claims process faster and can provide the verification your insurance company may require for certain high-value items.

Contact our agency for more details.

 

Written by: Secura Insurance Company December 29, 2016

 

Deer Crash

Fall in Wisconsin…It’s the time of year when deer are in rut and hunting season is upon us.   Statistically, October and November have the highest number of reported deer hits.  That means you need to exercise extra caution while driving.

Hitting a deer can be very expensive, causing a repair bill for your vehicle and possibly higher insurance premiums. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in 2015 there were 19,976 reported cases of deer vs. vehicle accidents.  In 2014 there were 10 fatalities and 410 people injured in deer related accidents.

Wondering if you have coverage for deer hits? If you have comprehensive (also referred to as, other than collision) coverage on your auto policy that will provide coverage for deer hits.  This may be subject to a deductible, and is an optional coverage.

We encourage you to take extra caution when driving in the next couple of months. Below are a few tips:

  • Deer are most active in the early morning and evening hours.
  • Most deer crashes occur in rural areas.
  • Deer crossing signs are posted for a reason. They are placed in areas where deer are commonly seen, or areas where incidents have been reported.
  • Scan the roadsides for deer, and if you see a deer slow down and be sure to keep an eye out because there may be more coming.
  • NEVER SWERVE. Better to hit the deer than lose control of your vehicle.
  • If you want to keep the carcass, Contact the local police or the DNR before leaving the scene with it.

Just a reminder, if you swerve to miss the deer, and end up going in the ditch or hit another vehicle you have now gone from having a comprehensive claim to having a collision claim.   Your collision deductible may be higher, and the incident would now be considered an at fault accident. This could result in a higher insurance premium than hitting a deer would have.