Keep an inventory of your belongings
If you make an inventory of
your belongings, we'll be able to handle your claim more quickly after a
loss. For starters, make categories on a sheet of paper. You might want to include
electronics, furniture, appliances, hobby items, fine art, collectibles, jewelry,
tools and clothing. For larger items, record serial numbers. Whenever you can, save
receipts, and take photographs or make a videotape. Keep all these records away
from your house, such as in a safe deposit box. Review the list with your insurance
agent to make sure you know which items are covered by your insurance and which
items might not be covered.
- Eliminate fire hazards.
- Install smoke detectors and change their batteries regularly.
- Plan and practice an escape route.
Nearly everybody understands the essential value of smoke detectors. But many homeowners
and apartment dwellers haven't taken steps one and three. Remember that to create
a complete fire safety plan, you must go beyond installing and maintaining smoke
You can dramatically improve your home security by taking a few simple steps.
- Remember that burglars are afraid of lights and noise. Add lights to entrances,
and keep landscaping away from windows. Consider an alarm system that makes lots
- Do whatever you can to slow down the burglar. Install high-security doors with top-quality
deadbolt locks. Add security locks to windows.
- Keep your valuables out of sight. If you have an expensive collection, antiques
or other valuables, don't advertise them to burglars. Keep them positioned so that
you can't see them from outside your house.
- Don't advertise that you're away. If you're on vacation, have the Post Office hold
your mail, and ask the newspaper company to suspend your paper delivery. Ask your
neighbors to pick up sales circulars and other paper that could tell a burglar you're
away. Make it look like you're home by keeping a car in your driveway and by using
timers to turn lights on and off.