By Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! People are busy decorating, gift-shopping and thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Tradition is one of the things that make the holiday season so special. While insurance may be the last thing on your mind during the holidays, the start of a new year is the perfect time to review your insurance coverage and update your home inventory list. When you reflect on the last 12 months, especially with the pandemic, you might realize that some of those changes could greatly affect your insurance needs.
The holiday season is when many people reflect on the past year and pledge to do better next year. Whether it’s eating healthier, being more organized or running your first marathon, try starting a new tradition: update your home inventory list. Here are four good reasons to add an annual insurance review and home inventory update to your list of holiday traditions.
- Your new gifts may not be covered.
I hope you’ve been good this year and receive some nice gifts over the festive period. Your homeowners insurance will cover most of your big-ticket gifts like a big screen TV, new electronics and expensive jewelry, but only up to your policy limits. That’s why it’s important to maintain a current record of all your belongings. Update your home inventory this holiday season so your coverage limits meet your needs.
- A lot can change in a year.
Think about the new “normal” we’re living in with COVID-19. With many people spending more time in their homes, it is not surprising that home improvement projects have increased in popularity. According to a recent Porch.com survey, 76% of homeowners have completed at least one home improvement project since the start of the pandemic. Take photos or a video of your remodeled kitchen or bathroom, gather receipts and add them to your inventory list. When you review coverage at the start of the year, you can ensure your new assets are safeguarded.
- It will make filing an insurance claim easier.
The information you put into the home inventory list can make an insurance claim settlement faster and easier. This is especially crucial for high-value items. Don’t forget to document your attic, basement, closets and other storage areas. Can you imagine trying to compile all this information after a disaster? Without a record of your belongings, remembering everything you own or what you’ve lost can be challenging.
- It’s free and easy.
With today’s technology, it’s never been easier to keep a detailed catalog of your possessions. Check out our free Home Inventory Checklist resources to get started. Keep your home inventory list in a safe place outside your home or cloud-based storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive. Also, your insurance agent will be happy to review your insurance coverage with you at no cost.
Creating a home inventory doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as standing in the middle of each room and taking a 360-degree video. Tackle this project with your children and show them family keepsakes and their history. I hope this new holiday tradition helps you improve your home’s protection and make lasting memories with your loved ones.