Even if you don’t need an appraisal, insurers recommend that a complete record of your house’s contents be kept. Periodic inventories should include sales receipts or estimates of the current cost of a comparable item. Photos or videos of the contents and their location should be included. The list and photos should be kept off the premises-in a safe-deposit box at the bank.
Standard coverage is for loss by theft or fire. If you misplace it, it’s your loss unless you have a policy that covers such losses. Insurance companies don’t want to pay claims if they don’t have to, so they try to help homeowners look for ways to avoid damages, according to the Insurance Information Institute. These ways include seasonal maintenance, including developing a routine to check systems and clean gutters. Swimming pools should be covered when not in use to reduce the chance of accidents.
When windstorms approach, take all loose objects indoors. When on vacation, even if the house has a security system, have a friend or the police check it periodically. Vigilance also is important when a house is being renovated. Fire extinguishers should be available to prevent small fires from getting bigger.
Don’t disconnect the burglar alarm or fire alarm while work is underway. Try to keep unauthorized visitors away from the site, even curious friends or neighbors. The contractor should be aware that no one should be on site without your express permission. Make it plain that if anything is missing or damaged, it is the contractor’s obligation to make up for the loss.
If that doesn’t do the trick, nothing else will.