A gift you’ll use all year long? NJM has you covered

There’s nothing like being home for the holidays. Who can resist the smell of a turkey in the oven? Or the charm of a tree covered in lights? Or the flickering of the glow of a menorah? Best of all, it’s a time when the whole family is gathered together under one roof. It truly is the most wonderful time of year… to take stock of all your assets. Yes, ’tis the season to ensure you have enough insurance to protect your family, home, or rental in case of an emergency. 

Whether you own a house in the suburbs or rent an apartment in the city, NJM Insurance is committed to helping its customers live more and worry less. NJM safeguards the things that make your house a home.

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1. Homeowners insurance 

The holiday season can be hectic and stressful in its own right. Add to the mix a move to a new house, and it’s safe to say you’ve got a lot on your mind. Whether you’re buying your first home, looking for more space, or planning to downsize, you might be faced with uncertainty about the type of insurance coverage you’ll need. 

Talking to your mortgage company or homeowner association, factoring in the results of the home inspection, and taking stock of your belongings are all important steps in choosing the homeowners policy that’s right for you.

But why do you need homeowners insurance? In addition to meeting mortgage lender requirements, securing the right homeowners policy will protect your investment — and your personal belongings. 

Walk through your home and try to add up the cost of everything inside of it — everything from your dining room set to your wardrobe, your jewelry to your furniture. If your home were to experience some kind of damage, such as a fire or a theft, could you afford to replace all those items? Homeowners insurance not only provides coverage for your valuables, but also peace of mind. 

For those in the housing market, NJM suggests starting by scheduling an inspection of your new home to review the square footage and quality of the home’s construction, roofing, plumbing, and heating. These details will help you pick the right amount of coverage for your home. Newer homes can also present a lower risk, which might mean policy discounts. 

When determining the amount of coverage you need for your new home, it’s important to decide on replacement cost coverage versus actual cash value in the event of a loss. 

Replacement coverage is the amount it would take to replace your damaged or destroyed home with the same or similar home in the current market. The actual cash value is the amount your home is worth after factoring in depreciation (an item’s loss of value over time). It’s always best to remember this if there’s ever a time to make a claim. 

Before you close your new home, your mortgage company will require proof of insurance. NJM can take the pressure off of you this season, or any time of the year, by helping you customize your policy to address your needs. 

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2. Renters insurance

NJM covers renters better than polar bear wrapping paper on a last-minute present. 

Why should you consider a renters policy? First off, depending on your landlord, renters insurance might be a requirement. But, even if it’s not, you should still consider covering yourself and your stuff. The average renter has thousands of dollars in personal property, which could easily be destroyed as the result of something unexpected.

Most landlords’ policies exclude property owned by a renter. NJM renters insurance covers your personal property in the event of a fire, theft, or other types of covered damage.

It’s important to note that renters insurance covers losses caused by specific or “named” events — like fire, wind or hail, theft, or vandalism. Like most insurance policies, however, it also has exclusions. For example, it won’t cover property in your apartment if it’s been vacant for more than 60 days.

In addition to covering losses, renters insurance may protect your liability. If someone gets injured in your apartment, you may be required to pay for their damages. A renters policy with liability coverage helps to protect you against these types of claims.

Plus, if your apartment becomes unlivable because of an insured loss, your NJM renters policy can cover the cost of certain additional living expenses. 

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3. Creating an inventory list

Santa’s checking his list, and he’s doing it twice, so make sure to do the same this season when creating an inventory list of your assets. A personal property inventory list will simplify the claims process and help you recuperate covered losses sooner.

To begin, start by developing a list of categories for your belongings. Standard categories include furniture, clothing, entertainment and tech, jewelry, and collectibles. Try your best to tailor the categories to suit your needs and consider adding a “miscellaneous” group.

Once you put your list together, NJM suggests taking the following steps:

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  • Record an estimated value of each item. Keep in mind that assets can appreciate or depreciate in value over time.
  • Gather receipts or appraisals to show proof of purchase and value. If you’re an online shopper, save your receipts to your computer.
  • Take photos (or videos) of your items and save them to a cloud or external hard drive. This will provide visual evidence of your belongings and include product details that may not appear on your written list.
  • Include all assets that are covered but not stored in the home. Items kept in a storage unit or in your car (like golf clubs) are covered by your homeowners insurance, subject to certain exclusions and special coverage limits.
  • Update your list annually or any time you make a big purchase.
  • Keep a copy of your inventory list, receipts, and digital files at a location outside your home (like a family member’s house) just to be safe. In addition to assisting the claims process, a detailed inventory list can serve as an asset to confirm you have the appropriate coverage when you renew your policy each year.

And the best part? NJM makes creating your list simple. Here are some further tips to get you started, along with a downloadable Inventory List.

The holidays are a perfect time to reflect on what you need to protect your family and property. NJM Insurance can help keep the season merry and bright and ensure you start 2023 protected from the unexpected.

For more information on how to protect your home or rental and save on your insurance, visit NJM.com.