In order to avoid problems when a loss occurs, the Chambre de l’assurance de dommages (ChAD)—the self-regulatory organization that ensures the protection of the public in matters related to damage insurance and claims adjustment—encourages consumers to take an inventory of their personal property.
Why make a personal property inventory?
A carefully completed personal property inventory allows you to better understand your coverage needs and purchase the right insurance policy. In the event of a loss, this inventory will also help to facilitate and speed up your claim.
How much are your belongings worth?
It’s easy to underestimate how much your belongings are worth. However, it’s important to know so you can decide on the amount of insurance that you want to take out, which will affect the amount of compensation in the event of a covered loss.
Plus, it can help your insurance agent or broker decide whether limits might apply. Home insurance contracts can provide a limit, for example of $1,000 or $2,000, for the theft of your jewellery or collections. If you own jewellery worth more than this amount, a damage insurance professional can offer to increase the limit in your contract.
Establishing your personal property inventory will prepare you to talk to a damage insurance professional about your home insurance needs.
Facilitating claims in the event of a loss
Under stressful conditions like a fire, water damage or theft, it’s hard to make an accurate list of the destroyed or stolen property. A claims adjuster will need this list to estimate the amount of compensation that the insurer will offer you. It’s your responsibility to document and justify your claim, by providing as much proof of possession (receipts, photos, etc.) as possible. The faster you provide this information, the faster your claim will be processed.
How to make a personal property inventory
The ChAD recommends that you keep a paper or digital copy of this inventory outside your home and supplement it with photographs or a video since you have to demonstrate the worth of your property to facilitate your claim. Receipts, warranties and instruction manuals can also serve as evidence in the event of a loss. This inventory is a memory aid to help you in the event of a loss. Don’t hesitate to include any document that seems relevant to you.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada offers a PDF you can fill in on-screen in French or English. Many insurance companies also offer solutions such as a mobile app, a document to fill out on their customer portal, etc.
A move, like a new school year, is an excellent opportunity to make a personal property inventory. Once the inventory is completed, contact your damage insurance professional to get appropriate protection for your belongings.
Did you know?
Damage insurance agents and brokers, as well as claims adjusters, are certified professionals overseen by the ChAD. They have to undergo training and respect a professional code. These professionals are here to recommend appropriate protection for your insurance needs and guide you through the claims process. Learn more about professionals by reading our article.