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Updating your insurance

Posted January 07, 2015 in Advice Column, West Des Moines


            Disaster can strike at any time.  Without warning you could lose your home, your possessions and even your life in a fire, tornado or other disaster.  It’s important to protect yourself and your family by having adequate insurance coverage.

            It’s best to review your insurance policies with an insurance representative every year or two to make sure you have adequate coverage for your home, auto or life.

            To help review property, periodically inventory your personal property so the insurance amounts are adequate.  Being underinsured may result in a claim payment less than the loss sustained.

            Documentation is of the utmost importance, so it’s essential to have a complete inventory of valuable items you own.  This will help you in filing a claim.  Inventories and the resulting insurance amount should be reviewed especially whenever significant changes are made.

            If you suffer a major loss, such as a dwelling fire, an insurance company is going to ask you for a complete list of your lost personal property.  It’s better to be prepared by completing a list now, rather than having to construct a list after the loss.

            The most preferable way to inventory your personal property is by completing a written inventory.  Photographs and videotapes of each room in your home may also help to establish an inventory.

            High value items such as antiques, jewelry, furs and collectibles should be appraised.  Then discuss with your financial representative the merits of specifically insuring those items in your policy.

            It makes sense to review your insurance to see if you have adequate coverage.  It also doesn’t hurt to look at ways to make your premium dollars work more efficiently.  You can save money by increasing your deductibles and assuming more of the initial part of the loss.

            You should also review your life, health and disability income insurance policies to ensure that the futures of you, your spouse and your family are protected in case of an emergency. 

            Read your policies carefully.  If you don’t understand something, talk with an insurance representative and have the representative reevaluate your coverage.

            By investing a little time and effort, you can save yourself time, money and a lot of headaches.

Information provided by Don Alexander, Country Financial, 650 S. Prairie View Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-223-7182.

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