Handy at Home

Strategies for Protecting Valuables at Home

With the hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest, property losses are expected to approach $100 billion.
January 2018
Posted

Home is your sanctuary, the place where you should feel the most secure and protected. It’s not surprising that you might store your prized possessions and valuables at home as well.

The recent wildfires in California are the latest in a string of devastating disasters to impact homeowners in the U.S. Together with the hurricanes along coasts and tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest, property losses are expected to approach $100 billion. Making matters worse, as much as 80 percent of these losses are not insured.

Because of these events, the cost of homeowners insurance is expected to increase dramatically in 2018. Now more than ever, you need a thoughtful examination of how best to protect your valuables and identify strategies to reduce your insurance costs.

These tips will help get you started:

• Create an inventory. Start with a written and video inventory of your prized possessions and valuables, including jewelry, cash or hard assets like gold, electronics, family heirlooms, such as coins or watches. Prioritize the highest value items first.

• Maintain secure off-site storage. Using a safe deposit box to store these smaller valuables, cash, and collectibles substantially reduces the risk of loss from such events.

• Follow basic security rules.Don’t broadcast on social media when you are out of town for work or vacation. Leave lights on variable timers. Accompany repair or utility staff while in your home. Keep valuables out of sight and make sure to stop mail delivery while out of town. If you have a safe, make sure it is bolted down.

• Evaluate your insurance. Standard homeowners or renters insurances place relatively low limits on jewelry, cash, and many other items. It also does not cover losses from flooding, earthquake, and hurricane unless you insure your valuables by a special endorsement or policy. Check your policy to see if you’re fully protected.

• Have a disaster plan. You typically have advanced warning of flooding, most wildfires, and hurricanes. Know what you would take if you needed to flee your home, what you would place in your safe deposit box and where you would store items left behind. Store important documents digitally where they can be accessed at any time.

For more details on protecting your valuables, go to sdbic.com/savemoney.

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