In the wake of the disastrous results of the Camp Fire and our neighbors to the north experiencing the gut-wrenching losses of their homes and nearly all possessions, we found it important to share this tool. Taking inventory of the contents of your home can truly ease the stress and heartache when dealing with a total loss.
Why create a home inventory checklist?
Though your homeowners insurance policy provides the protection that you need in the event of a loss such as a fire or burglary, your policy can only pay for items that you can document. In order to assure that all your prize possessions will be replaced, you should conduct a home inventory so you have a finite record of everything that you own. This inventory will assist you in determining which items were destroyed or stolen.
How should you conduct a home inventory?
To complete a full home inventory, walk through every room in your home and identify all of the contents. It is also wise to take photographs or make a video of all of your possessions, and keep this media documentation with your list. Then, place all of this information into a fireproof safe or safety deposit box at your bank.
Periodically, update this list as you purchase more items for your home.
How does a home inventory list relate to my insurance policy?
Not only can a household inventory checklist assist you in the event of a loss, it can also help you determine whether you have enough insurance coverage. Your coverage should equal the cost of your possessions at today’s prices. Items such as jewelry, furs and fine art should be appraised on a regular basis to ensure that you have enough insurance to cover their high-priced value.
Once you have completed your home inventory walk-thru, contact Warren G. Bender Co. for more assistance with your insurance needs.
Owning a vacation home has many benefits that both you and your family can enjoy for a lifetime. However, many don’t realize that insuring vacation homes is complex and often very different than coverage for primary homes.
In fact, the way you utilize a property and how often it’s occupied has a direct impact on the kinds of insurance you will need. Vacation property insurance is typically provided as a “named perils” policy. This essentially means that coverage for vacation homes is not comprehensive, and owners must secure coverage for specific risks, like fires or explosions.
In order to properly protect their investment, vacation homeowners should consider the following types of coverage:
• Contents coverage— Typically, standard home insurance policies protect any property that you transport back and forth between homes. Contents coverage fills in the gaps and protects any items that are permanently kept at your vacation home.
• Replacement cost coverage— This type of insurance works in conjunction with contents coverage and reimburses the cost of repairing or replacing an item.
• Coverage for detached private structures— Many vacation homes have private structures like boathouses and sheds you’ll need to account for.
Coverage for certain risks, like water damage, sewer backup or vandalism, may be difficult to secure or excluded altogether. As such, it’s important to contact a qualified insurance broker to help assess your needs and build a custom policy for your vacation home.
We are pleased to announce that Jeffrey Wood is Warren G. Bender Co.’s new Personal Lines Manager.
He joins the team with 21 years’ experience in personal insurance from his prior role with a local Insurance agency. As the Personal Lines Manager for Warren G. Bender Co., Wood works closely with the Personal Lines Team to cultivate and service new and existing clients in the greater Sacramento region.
“I enjoy helping people protect their most valuable possessions,” said Wood. “I also believe we as insurance professionals must educate our clients on the policies and products we are offering to them”.
Wood is a Sacramento Native and U.S Army Veteran. After honorably serving in the military as a Non Commissioned Officer, Wood returned to his home town in 1997 and started his insurance career.
Wood is a Rotarian in his local community and the Chair of the 36th Annual “Spirit of Auburn BBQ”. He also volunteers as a guest speaker to educate high school seniors on automobile insurance at Placer High School.
He is an angler and enjoys fishing for trout in various lakes in the sierras. Wood lives in Placer County with his wife Kathryn and their two daughters: Maryellen and Madilyn.
Feel free to reach out to Jeffrey via email at email@example.com or call him directly at 916-380-5339. He will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Fall is right around the corner, and, as the weather changes, it’s important to prepare your home and identify potential problems before they arise. Consider performing the following annual fall maintenance tasks to ensure your home is safe and ready for the months ahead:
• Have your heating system cleaned and inspected by a qualified technician. Clean and replace the furnace filter if needed.
• Insulate water pipes in areas exposed to cold temperatures.
• Check for damaged or loose shingles to ensure your roof can withstand the wear and tear of winter and that it won’t collapse under the weight of wet leaves, ice and snow.
• Drain garden hoses before putting them away for the winter. Water left in hoses can freeze, causing irreversible damage.
• Clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating.
• Check and repair caulking around doors and windows that show signs of deterioration to prevent heat from escaping.
• Have the chimney inspected for deterioration that could make it unsafe for use.
• Inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, ensuring you have one on each floor of your home. Test them monthly, and change the battery annually or as needed.
• Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Heavy snow and ice can cause tree limbs to snap, which could damage your home.
Do you have the appropriate coverage and limits in place as we head into autumn? Contact our personal insurance team to ensure you’re properly covered: 916-380-5300 or PL@wgbender.com
Seeing the prices of our homes hit these heights, puts the pressure on to get them on the market and see if we get a bite. In this blog we will cover some common insurance mistakes home sellers make.
Tip one, NEVER cancel your homeowner’s policy just because you plan on selling it soon. This has the potential to be the most crippling mistake you ever make. When you cancel your homeowner’s policy before escrow closes, you take on all the risks that you were previously insured for. The exposure to a loss is actually increased while you’re selling your home. Hypothetically, you are having an open house, someone trips over your garden hose and breaks their hip. Due to the cancellation of your homeowner’s policy, you have no insurance for a situation that ordinarily would be covered. It’s vital to keep your homeowner’s policy until escrow closes and the home is no longer in your name.
Secondly, ALWAYS consult your insurance agent. Let them know that you are selling and ask questions! For example, what does the insurance process look like when selling my current home and moving into my secondary residence? Inform your insurance agent if you are making upgrades or doing any home improvement before you sell (see our home improvement blog). Providing your agent with this information will help protect you, your home, and your property appropriately.
At Warren G. Bender, we have years of experience with our clients selling their homes. We proudly help our clients make strategic moves regarding insurance during their selling process. As you embrace the idea of selling your home, keep us in mind and give us a call. 916-380-5300