A personal belongings inventory in the event you need to file a claim against your RV Insurance is very important should disaster strike. When you're on the road, you never know what surprises await you. Unfortunately, not all surprises are pleasant ones. Someday you may find that fire or flood has damaged your RV, or that a burglar has taken many of your valuable personal possessions.
If so, your insurance company will ask you to provide them with a list of what's been damaged or destroyed, the value of those items, and proof of ownership. Are you prepared to do this? Could you remember everything that you had in your RV, what's damaged or missing, when and where you bought each item, and how much it cost? Considering the trauma and stress a major loss can cause, probably not. Which is why you need to complete a personal belongings inventory before you head out on your next adventure.
You can use anything from simple pencil and paper, to special software programs, to video cameras to compile your inventory. It should include a description of each item, model numbers and serial numbers, the purchase date, original value, and estimated current value. For more valuable items, say over $100, save your sales receipts and keep them with your inventory.
When conducting the inventory, begin outside your RV and record everything kept in outside storage compartments. Then move inside and work from one end to the other. Open drawers, cupboards, closets, storage bins and toolboxes and record their contents, along with any furniture, appliances, or decorations you've added to your rig. Don't forget to highlight high-value items such as antiques, firearms, jewelry, or special collections.
You may also find during your review that high-value items like jewelry, firearms, and special collections need higher coverage limits than your base policy provides. If so, consider buying additional scheduled personal property coverage.
Once you've finished, make a copy of everything. Keep one set in your RV and one in a safe locations somewhere else such as in a safe deposit box, at home, or with a friend or relative.
Next, review your RV insurance to see if you have enough coverage on the contents you've documented. If you insure your RV on your auto policy, keep in mind an auto policy typically doesn't provide coverage for personal property. That's the job of your homeowners policy, which may provide limited coverage for your personal belongings off premises from your home. Plus, you may be stuck paying a $250 or higher deductible.
Specialized RV insurance policies, on the other hand, typically provide personal property coverage with low or no deductible. Plus, they generally provide replacement cost coverage (at least as an option). With the latter, you receive the value of “new for old” once you replace your damaged or stolen property, with no deduction for depreciation as with Actual Cash Value (ACV) policies.
Finally, be sure to update your inventory on a regular basis such as when you make a major purchase, upgrade to a new RV, or before your first trip each year.
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