Gift-giving season is upon us! Exchanging gifts is a cherished holiday tradition for countless Florida homeowners. Unfortunately, naughty guests and greedy burglars may be just around the corner – scheming up ways to steal your holiday cheer.
What precautions are you taking to protect your new gifts from damage or theft?
Out of Sight… Out of Mind
Don’t lure gift-stealing Grinches into your home. When you’re done playing with your new goodies and gadgets, put them away. But don’t just haphazardly toss them in a sock drawer – that’s one of the first places thieves will look.
Think like a criminal when deciding where to hide your belongings so you can always be one step ahead. Here are some nifty hiding spots you may want to try out:
- Hollowed-Out Books: Are you a bookworm? Use it to your advantage and conceal small valuables inside hollowed-out books on your bookshelf. Burglars don’t have the time or the patience to sift through a case full of books to find the one that may hide your precious items.
- False Containers: Store valuables in false containers like food cans, medicine bottles, and even a tub of “cat litter,” and place the containers in a cabinet or under the sink.
- Faux Air Vent Safe: It’s highly unlikely that a burglar will even think to search an air vent for valuables. Install a faux air vent safe in a hallway or bathroom to confound burglars.
- Secret Storage Mirror: Conceal larger valuables in a secret storage mirror that includes a hidden storage unit behind it.
Invest in a Home Safe
Small but precious valuables like jewelry, social security cards and family heirlooms should be stored in a locked safe. It is of utmost importance that you make sure the safe is anchored to a secure object – either an external wall or a solid floor. Otherwise, you’re basically handing your stuff over to the first burglar who doesn’t mind toting away your safe.
Just in Case... Cover Your Valuables
There’s no surefire way to prevent property theft, so it’s important to be prepared in case your valuables are stolen. Standard home insurance policies usually have special limits for coverage on valuable personal items in order to keep premiums at a reasonable price.
In the case of People’s Trust Insurance, a standard HO3 policy maintains a $1,000 limit for loss by theft of jewelry, watches, furs, and precious and semi-precious stones.
It is important to review your policy at least once a year to confirm your level of coverage. If you need more coverage, you may be able to add an endorsement to your current policy.
With a blanket coverage endorsement, you set a total insured amount for all of your valuables, rather than each individual item. Though not required, you may want to appraise your valuables to prove ownership and value in case you need to file a claim.
With a scheduled coverage endorsement, you itemize all valuable items you want to insure. Scheduled coverage protects against all types of loss and damage, with the exception of normal wear and tear.
Replacement Cost Coverage vs. Actual Cash Value Coverage
In case you experience personal property loss, it’s important to understand the difference between Personal Property Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value coverage.
A standard homeowner’s policy includes coverage for your personal property at Actual Cash Value, factoring in depreciation at the time of loss. If you select the Personal Property Replacement Cost coverage endorsement for an additional premium, People’s Trust Insurance will settle losses to your specific personal property at the current replacement cost without considering depreciation.
The Personal Property Replacement Cost endorsement also provides replacement cost for several building items that would otherwise be limited to Actual Cash Value. This includes awnings, carpeting, household appliances and outdoor antennas/outdoor equipment.
Compile a Home Inventory
No matter what type of home insurance you have, it’s important to have a recorded inventory of your personal property along with proof of value (receipts, bank statements, etc.) in case something were to happen.
Not sure how to properly photograph your valuables? Click here
for some easy and helpful tips.