If you have worked with Glass Slipper Homes you know that we go paperless whenever we’re able to. For example, when you visit one of our listings you will receive a cd containing scanned copies of property information rather than a packet of paperwork. We like it that way – and we hope you do too!
This leads to the question of the day – how and where do you store important documents in your home? While we strive to make sure our homes are safe at all times, sometimes accidents happen. With this in mind, where do you keep documents like insurance policies? The title policy for your home? The closing documents that the title company gave you after a property purchase or refinance? Copies of your tax returns? Receipts if you’re a business owner?
A common answer is a Banker’s Box that you can purchase at any office supply store. While this is handy and economical, what if you store it in your basement and then you get water down there after a heavy rainstorm? Or if you put the same box anywhere else in your house, what will happen to the information if something like a fire or smoke damage occurs? These aren’t things that we like to think about, but it’s important as responsible homeowners to do so.
If possible, consider scanning documents into your computer and then backing up your computer system using an on site option like an external hard drive or an off site option like Mozy or Carbonite. If scanning isn’t an option for you, consider a water and fireproof container for storing important documents – you won’t regret it!
If you are a current homeowner or are searching for a new home, you know that homeowners insurance is a must in order to protect your investment. However, insurance policies can be confusing and you may not understand all the components. One part is called personal property coverage , this is the part of your homeowner’s insurance that covers your personal belongings – the contents in your home. Here are a few tips to make sure that you have the right coverage for your personal possessions.
1. Know what you have before you need to make a claim – a video inventory is a great way to have a thorough list of your household goods 2. Keep your receipts (especially of large purchases) 3. Understand the types of coverage (actual cash value or replacement costs) and how it works best for you 4. Add luxury items like jewelry or coins to the appropriate schedules or endorsements 5. Know what items may be excluded or covered under other policies (don’t make assumptions)
While you hope that nothing happens to your home, it is best to prepare ahead of time for possible loss or damage. That includes keeping a property inventory and having information on the cost of your items readily available and also stored in a safe place. Many agents recommend that you carry replacement cost coverage – while certain items may depreciate in value once they are purchased, the cost to buy the item new may be greater than what you originally paid for it or the depreciated costs.
You may own antiques, jewelry or art that is not covered under your basic policy (or has limits to the coverage). Typically you will need to obtain a certified appraisal for luxury or collector’s items and then carry special coverage through an additional endorsement to your existing policy.
Be sure to review your policy througly and don’t make assumptions that everything you own is covered. A good agent can help you understand the policy limitations and exclusions so that you are not caught with your belongings uninsured or underinsured. You may pay a little extra on your annual premiums, but good coverage makes for a good night’s sleep!