First Person: Why We Just Increased Our Personal Property Coverage

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I recently made the move to increase the amount of personal property coverage we have on our condo contents. With our recent downsize from a single-family home to a smaller condo, we also adjusted our insurance coverage. However, now that we're settled into our new place, I've had time to go back and review our coverage amounts. In the process, I realized that there was a huge difference between what our home personal property insurance coverage amount was and what our current coverage amount is. And while we downsized, we didn't get rid of that much stuff.

Coverage Amounts and Our Increase

I was actually a little shocked to realize that we only had $25,000 in personal property coverage. While I knew our limits were lower on our condo coverage than when we owned a single-family home, I'm a little embarrassed to say that I didn't pay that much attention to the exact amounts. While I made sure we had enough personal liability coverage, I just didn't think that much about contents. But when I started doing so, I got a little worried considering we had over $150,000 (actually more than we needed) on our previous home's personal property coverage.

Getting a Feel for Coverage Needs

While I wouldn't say we have a ton of nice stuff, we do have some nice antiques, furniture, and with two kids now, plenty of toys, clothes, and accoutrements. And when I started adding up how much it would cost to replace things like our sofa, chairs, tables, beds (especially mattresses), clothing, books, televisions, cookware, dishes, and all the rest, the little cash register in my brain was just a ding, ding, dinging away.

And while I'm not as concerned about theft, since our condo building is quite secure, I am concerned about fire (since we have a lot of neighboring units). And while fires might be put out quickly in an urban environment like ours, smoke can be very damaging as well for things like clothing, furniture, beds, etc. Therefore, I contacted our insurance company and asked how much it would be to double our personal property insurance coverage, taking it from 25k to 50k. It was just $40 a year, so I moved forward with increasing our policy amount.

Reading the Fine Print

While I was working through our coverage increase process, I took a few minutes to refresh myself with our policy outline and the finer points of what exactly our insurance covers.

I again found myself somewhat surprised by the specifics of the policy and just what exactly the policy would cover and in what amounts. Detailed amounts for things like money, coins, and metals kept in the house, silverware, business property, jewelry, watches, and furs, stamps and trading cards, firearms, and similar items were all laid out. This is important information to bear in mind since at times, I think in terms of total coverage rather than in a breakdown based upon exactly what is contained in our condo.

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