How to Assess Your Belongings for Renters Insurance

Female renter assesses receipts and other documents to understand the value of her belongings.

What if you were failing to properly protect your most prized possessions, and you were not even aware of it? 

One of the biggest benefits of renters insurance is that it can help you replace items that are damaged or stolen. However, the coverage for your possessions can never be higher than the limit you agreed to when you sign the policy. 

In other words, if you do not know how much your belongings are worth, the limit for your personal property coverage may be too low, and you might not be able to get fully repaid for your losses. Want to protect everything while giving yourself valuable peace of mind? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about assessing the value of your belongings for renters insurance. 

Why Is Assessing Your Belongings Essential? 

You have probably looked around your home and wondered how much it would cost to replace everything if it was all lost tomorrow. Understanding the value of your possessions is critical to purchasing the right amount of coverage. Before diving into the best way to determine these things, you need to know why assessing your belongings is so important. 

The short answer is that the limits of your personal property coverage work like any other insurance limits. If the value of items that are damaged or stolen exceeds the limits of your coverage, then you will be stuck either paying the rest out of pocket or simply accepting the losses. At the same time, it is impossible to get the right coverage amount if you are unsure how much these things are worth in the first place. 

By figuring out how much your possessions are worth, you can have a renters insurance property coverage limit that is neither too high nor too low, and you can get an accurate renters insurance quote. Keep in mind, too, that while it is often true that a higher price entails higher quality, there are affordable renters insurance options that do not compromise on the quality of service you deserve. 

Knowing the Real Worth of Your Belongings 

Determining the value of your personal property can be straightforward in some cases. If you have kept the receipts for your belongings, you can store them (and make digital copies as a backup), which will help you estimate the cost of replacing those items in case of damage or theft. 

Certain items, of course, are going to be more expensive than others. Electronics tend to be the most expensive items, so you will want to take extra care to write down the exact make and model of the items in question. When it comes to jewelry and art, keeping a record of when you purchased the item, from whom, and whether it is an original piece is also important. 

The Art of Proper Valuation: Tips and Tricks 

There is no great way to assess the value of your belongings without keeping and maintaining a very detailed list of the most important things you own, as well as how much they cost. The good news is you can use any organizational system you want if it works for you. 

As an example, some renters prefer to organize everything by categories: a list for electronics, a list for jewelry, a list for artwork, and so on. Other renters prefer to organize everything by different rooms of the house. 

It is ultimately up to you to choose a method and stick to it. Whether you have plenty of experience or are renting for the first time, it is vitally important that you supplement your records with photos and videos. 

Male renter takes a photo of his computer set up with his phone to document the value of his belongings.

The Importance of Multimedia Documentation 

Insurance carriers are often wary of customers falsifying records. Because of this, a simple list of everything you have and its worth may not be enough. If an item is stolen, your insurance carrier would only have your word that you owned it in the first place. 

As a result, it is important to take pictures and videos of everything that goes on your list. In this digital age, it is also important to make copies of your multimedia documentation and store them in various areas (such as online cloud storage) for safekeeping. If all your multimedia documentation is on a jump drive or computer hard drive, you risk it being damaged or stolen, undermining your documentation efforts. 

Using Appraisal Services for High-Value Items 

Every renter needs renters insurance because it can help you replace items that are stolen or damaged. Knowing their value is easy enough with most of the things you purchase because the receipts can verify the items’ MSRP. However, items such as luxury jewelry and artwork can be more difficult to assess, especially because their value tends to increase over time. 

For these items, it is recommended that you seek the services of a professional appraiser. Doing so obviously takes additional time and money, but consider this an investment in your peace of mind. After all, it will be impossible to get the right coverage limits for all your belongings if you are unsure how much they are worth. 

When to Reassess the Worth of Your Belongings 

At the bare minimum, it is important to reassess the value of your personal belongings at least once a year. This will help you properly catalog any major additions you need to cover, as well as document any significant changes in value to the items you want to protect. Based on the annual reassessment, you may wish to increase your policy limits or even add special riders for luxury goods such as jewelry. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Valuing Your Belongings 

The primary mistake you want to avoid is failing to properly document your belongings. Another common mistake is underestimating how much protection you might need. Because certain items may increase in value over time, you may need a higher limit if you hope to replace something if it is destroyed or stolen. 

Finally, it is important for all renters to read the fine print of their policy so they know what is and what is not covered. If you have never had a renters policy before, keep in mind that there are plenty of reasons why new renters should get renters insurance

Investing in Comprehensive Renters Insurance 

Now you know how to determine what your belongings are worth in order to get the right renters insurance coverage. However, do you know who is ready to provide you with the property insurance that will help protect your prized possessions? 

Here at InsureOne, we live by a simple policy: The best customers deserve nothing less than the best insurance. From protecting your home to your car to everything in between, we are always ready to help you. Get an InsureOne quote online or give us a quick call at 800-836-2240. Finally, feel free to come into one of our nearby offices at your earliest convenience!