Valuing Your Personal Contents for Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is comprised of several types of coverage. These include liability coverage and replacement coverage for your home. In addition, there is also coverage for the personal contents in your home. Personal contents coverage may include everything from your clothing and furniture to appliances, lawn equipment and even home décor. When you purchase your Texas homeowners insurance 10-15 policy, your insurance agent will ask you how much of this coverage you need, and many people simply have no idea how much their personal possessions will cost them to replace. However, in the event of a fire or another damaging event that results in a partial or total loss, you need to have enough coverage to replace your belongings. Therefore, it is important to determine the value of your personal possessions by checking out

Assess the Large Items First
When trying to determine how much personal contents coverage you need for your Texas homeowners insurance policy, a smart idea is to assess the value of the large items first. Walk from room to room to estimate how much it would cost to replace all of the furniture, appliances and electronics in each room. These will make up the bulk of the value for your personal contents coverage, and you may be surprised at how quickly these amounts will add up. A single room, for example, may easily have $5,000 to $10,000 of furniture and electronics in it.

Think About the Value of Smaller Items
While the total value of the larger items may quickly add up, you may have dozens of smaller items in a room that also have value. This may include decorative items, wall hangings, area rugs, lamps, dishes, linens, bedding and more. Your closets may be particularly difficult to value, and you may consider counting the number of items you have and applying an estimated figure to them. For example, a typical shirt may cost $20, and you may have 20 shirts. Remember to add value for the items in your garage, such as the lawn mower and power tools. Sporting equipment like bikes, small electronics like a camera and other items should also be valued.

Create a Record of Your Belongings
When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company typically will ask you to provide documentation for your losses. Many will advise you to create a video or to take pictures of the different rooms in your home. As you walk around, open cabinets, closets and drawers so that all of the personal items that you own can be viewed. While you may not still have the receipts for your items, you can document that they were in your home. Remember to step out onto the patio and to walk into the garage to document the belongings you have in these spaces as well. Keep your documentation in a safe location. If you store the documentation in your home, it should be locked in a waterproof, fireproof safe or in another secure location so that it is not damaged in the event of a fire or flood.

Some insurance agents may tell you to estimate your home’s contents at approximately 50 to 75 percent of your home’s total value. This may be a good rule of thumb, but it may not be accurate for all people. It may be better for you to estimate the value of your home’s contents on your own. Remember that the contents in your home will change over time. Therefore, when you review and update other aspects of your homeowners insurance policy, you should also take time to re-evaluate the personal contents in your home.