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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013

Protect your belongings by videotaping them yearly

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By Clark Howard


If something ever gets lost, stolen or burned at your home, how do you prove it to your insurance company?

Once each year, around my wife's birthday, she does a walk and talk with a video camera in hand to document our possessions. As she's going through the house, she includes the prices and dates of each new purchase we've made since last year if she remembers. Then we store the little tape at her mom's house because it won't do any good if it gets damaged at our house.

Sometimes insurance companies won't pay if you can't document what you've got. Real Simple magazine recently ran a story about what's possibly not covered by insurance and may require you to buy an additional rider. Their list includes the following:

  • Cameras (I'd advise you to skip the rider on this, unless you have professional equipment)
  • China
  • Silver
  • Crystal
  • Collectibles
  • Fine art
  • Furs
  • Jewelry
  • Musical instruments
  • Sports memorabilia


Here's the sticky thing, though. You can buy a rider, but you might also need to go one more step and have an appraisal. That's very common when you're talking about collectibles and jewelry.

If this all sounds a bit too much for you, just be sure that at least once a year you come up with a date and do that walk and talk commentary while shooting that video. I want you to protect your possessions.

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