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How much are your belongings worth?

Take a moment to consider all the belongings in your home. How much do you think they are worth? How much would it cost to replace each item? If you are like most Canadians, you would likely be surprised at the total value of your possessions. It is important to know what your belongings are worth when reviewing your home, condo or tenant’s insurance policy. You want to make sure you are not underinsured or over insured and paying a higher premium than necessary. Here are a few tips on how to calculate the worth of your home’s contents, and why it matters.

The little things add up

When you start adding up the total cost of all the items in your home, the sum might surprise you. Start with your kitchen; you probably think of big appliances which are worth hundreds of dollars, but the small items add up too. A nice set of pots and pans could be worth up to $350, and your smaller appliances, dishes, glassware, mugs, knives, and other kitchen utensils are not always cheap either. When all is said and done, you probably have around $4,500 worth of items in your kitchen alone!

The bedroom is another room that likely has quite a few items of value. A new mattress alone can cost $1,000, not to mention your bedframe, sheets, pillows, and bedspreads. Another area frequently underestimated is clothing and jewellery; to replace everything it could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

Why do I need to know what my stuff is worth?

Knowing the value of the contents of your home is very important when choosing how much coverage you need on your insurance policy. If you overestimate the value of your belongings, you could end up paying a higher premium than necessary, and if you underestimate their value, you will not have enough coverage to replace your belongings if they are damaged or destroyed.

You should also make sure that you have coverage for more expensive items like bicycles, art, jewellery and business equipment. Most policies offer a limit on the value you can claim on individual items. If your item exceeds the limit, you may want to consider adding it separately, which is called scheduling. If you are not sure what your items are worth, such as jewellery or antiques, it is a good idea to get up-to-date estimates of their value by a qualified appraiser.

If you experience a flood or a fire, your insurer will request a list of the damaged or destroyed items covered by your insurance policy. After such a stressful event, you may find it hard to list everything that was damaged and will likely miss some items or details; this could mean those items will not be covered.

Having an inventory of all your belongings ahead of time will help greatly in the event of an insurable loss. Instead of trying to remember everything you had in your home and how much each item is worth, you can simply refer to the list you have already made.

Creating records of your belongings

If going through every room of your home to catalogue your belongings seems overwhelming, you are not alone! That is why there are tools to help you create an inventory, such as the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s personal property inventory form or download their Excel sheet to track your possessions room by room. You do not have to complete the entire inventory in one day—try spacing it out by doing one room a week, and you will have everything inventoried in just a few weeks without being overwhelmed.

These records should ideally include close-up and wide-shot photos of each item as well as the make, model, and date of purchase if you have them.

AGR Insurance Brokers has a variety of home, condo and tenant’s insurance options to suit your needs. To review your current policy or to get a quote, call AGR Insurance Broker’s today at 1-800-668-0250.