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Why a Home Inventory Is Important

Let’s try a little exercise: Can you list everything you own from memory?
Didn’t think so.

The fact is most people own more things than they realize. It’s easy to remember the cars, the computer, the TV. But what about that holiday china in the garage? Or every pair of shoes?

All of it is regarded as personal property for insurance purposes. And if your home is destroyed by fire or some other disaster, having a list of your possessions makes filing a claim easier — and helps you put your life back together.

Why should I complete a home inventory? What’s the best way?
Comparing the value of your belongings to the “contents” limit listed in your policy helps you make sure you have enough insurance to replace them if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss. The easiest way to take an inventory is to use a video camera, recording and describing items as you walk through your house. Or, you can use a regular camera and create a home inventory checklist.

Here are a few tips for completing and storing your inventory:

-Add brand names and descriptions where you can, especially on large-ticket items. Serial numbers are helpful to note.
-Keep any receipts you have with the list to make the claims process easier.
-Store your video or photo inventory offsite so you won’t lose it if your house is damaged.
-Update your personal property records when you purchase new furnishings and valuables.
-Though the task may seem daunting, it’s important to try. An incomplete inventory is better than nothing at all.

How much insurance do I need?
We can assist you in analyzing your insurance needs and help you decide how to most effectively protect your personal property. You should consider full-value coverage, which will pay for the replacement value of your personal belongings. A standard policy typically covers personal property only up to its actual cash value, determined by taking the replacement cost and deducting depreciation, which can be substantial. (For example, a 5-year-old TV is usually worth much less than what it would cost to purchase a new one.)

Finally, remember your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry, furs, art and antiques, only up to set dollar amounts. If the cost of replacing them exceeds these limits, you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage.

Home content inventory apps are available on iPhone and Android.

We hope you’ll never need the home inventory, but preparing for the worst can prevent a lot of hassle later!

Give Your Grill a Checkup

Spring has arrived, and as you prepare the inside and outside of your home for the warmer weather, don’t forget to inspect one of the main focal points of every patio or deck: the Grill.

Your grill probably got a good workout last summer and fall, but has likely gone dormant in the winter months. So while you are sweeping off the patio and moving your outdoor furniture back to its place in the sun, take a few minutes to give your grill its annual checkup:

  1. Clean the exterior. Use warm soapy water to gently wipe down the outside of your grill. Be sure to wash in the same direction as the finish to avoid streaks in the stainless steel.
  2. Clean the interior. Scrub the inside surfaces, grates and burners with a nylon brush, a wire brush or a non-scratch sponge. Use a dish soap and water combination to more thoroughly wipe down the interior, and dry it completely.
  3. Inspect the condition of the grids and heat shields. Since you place the food on the grids, you’ll want to make sure they are free from rust. If you see rust or holes on the heat plates, your food may be cooked unevenly. Replace them if they are not in good condition.
  4. Check your propane tank. Check for leaks by applying soapy water and watching for bubbles. Be sure the tank is full. We recommend having a backup tank on hand in case you run out of gas in the middle of cooking.
  5. Consider replacing parts instead of the entire grill. Ordering replacement parts can extend the life of your grill, and make an older grill cook like its brand new.  Grillpartssearch.com is a great resource for replacing hard to find parts.  

So take a few minutes to be sure your grill is safe and in working order. Then enjoy being outdoors and the fun times grilling out with your family and friends this season!