Count Your Blessings - Literally
There are some very simple ways to safeguard your belongings. One of them is to have a clear idea of what you possess.
How many CDs and cassettes do you own? What's the make of your stereo system? Microwave? Clock radio? After a fire or theft, it's hard to remember every detail. A fast and accurate way to take an inventory of your belongings is with a video camera. A Polaroid or tape recorder will work, too. Then give the photos or tape to someone for safekeeping.
Keep valuables in a safe place
Precious keepsakes and other valuables, such as jewellery, are best kept in a safety deposit box. In case of loss your insurance can help with the monetary value, but their sentimental value is irreplaceable.
Update your coverage
Are you a collector of coins? Sports cards? Jewelry? Professional-use tools? Computer equipment? Securities? Bicycles? Those items might not be typical "collectors pieces", but people often acquire them at values greater than their insurance coverage.
And that's a great concern to your broker, who wants to be sure that your possessions are properly protected. So it's a good idea to update your inventory annually, inform your broker of your latest purchases, and discuss the need for additional coverage.
Make your mark
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, police cannot identify about 20% of the stolen property they recover. Engrave your name or an identifying number on major items, such as TVs, VCRs, cameras, computers and power tools.
And do it twice: once where it's obvious and a second time in a more hidden spot. Then put decals on your doors or windows to advertise your identification system to burglars. They may think twice about handling marked items.