Many people don’t think they have a lot of value in their personal property. Sure, there’s the big-screen TV, laptop or tablet computer, and maybe the home theater system, but the rest is just clothes, furniture, tools, dishes, and stuff. Most of it will probably end up in the garbage or at a garage sale.

However, what we as insurance agents learn is that after a loss (when policyholders compile a list of their damaged and destroyed property and what it would take to replace it) they often find the cost stunning. We don’t want you to discover that you were underinsured, especially when it’s too late.

The reasons for this miscalculation might come down to the fact that most of us acquire our personal items gradually, a little bit here and a little bit there. In contrast, the items we know to be valuable are usually those whose purchase hits us at one time — the big-ticket television or computer, for example. Add up all those “little” expenditures and the chances are that your possessions are worth a lot more than you think.

What to do? Sit down and run a “mock loss” drill with your family. First, write down what you estimate your personal property to be worth. Now imagine that everything you own has been destroyed — and you just happen to have a complete inventory and picture or video of every single item (this should be easy to do because you can walk through the house and see everything).

Once you have your “lost property” list, start adding up the values. If you’re not sure, check store ads, catalogs, and Web sites. Be sure to count all those spoons and shirts, every blouse and toy, and each knick-knack and tool. Some of them might be old. However, if you’re counting on your insurance to replace them, calculate the value at what each item would cost today, if you had to drive a truck to the mall and replace everything at once.

Once you have your total, compare it with your original estimate. Shocked? One Virginia couple estimated their property values to be approximately $100,000. After a total fire loss, they tallied their possessions. To quote the wife, “I stopped counting at $300,000.” Their insurance coverage provided only $109,500.

Call your Tracy-Driscoll Insurance agent today at (860) 589-3434 with your total, and let’s make sure your current insurance covers the real value of your possession. Do it now, before you suffer a serious real loss

 

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