Invest a little time and effort to protect your personal belongings. You will reap many benefits in terms of security, well-being, and peace of mind.
Count Your Blessings – Literally!
There are some very simple ways to safeguard your belongings. One of them is to have a clear idea of what you possess.
How many DVDs do you own? What's the make of your stereo system? Microwave? After a fire or theft, it's hard to remember every detail. A fast and accurate way to take an inventory of your belongings is with a video camera. A digital camera or tape recorder will work, too. Then, give the photos or tape to someone for safekeeping.
Personal Inventory Booklet
You can also download and print our Personal Inventory Booklet to track your belongings. It's a simple and practical tool to help you update your personal inventory. Don't rely on an inventory you did two years ago.
Keep Valuables in a Safe Place
Precious keepsakes and other valuables, such as jewellery, are best kept in a safety deposit box. In case of loss, your insurance can help with the monetary value, but their sentimental value is irreplaceable.
Make Your Mark
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, police cannot identify about 20% of the stolen property they recover. Engrave your name or an identifying number on major items, such as TVs, DVD players, cameras, computers, and power tools. And do it twice: once where it's obvious and a second time in a more hidden spot. Then, put decals on your doors or windows to advertise your identification system to burglars. They may think twice about handling marked items.
Update Your Coverage
Are you a collector of coins? Sports cards? Jewellery? Professional-use tools? Computer equipment? Securities? Bicycles? Those items might not be typical "collectors pieces," but people often acquire them at values greater than their insurance coverage. And that's a great concern to your broker, who wants to be sure that your possessions are properly protected. So it's a good idea to update your inventory annually, inform your broker of your latest purchases, and discuss the need for additional coverage.
Get the Lived-In LookGoing on vacation? Don't advertise it! Use timers to turn your lights and radio on and off during the day and evening. You can also ask a neighbour or friend to:
Think About the Unthinkable
We prefer not to think about unpleasant things, such as what would happen if a fire started in our home. Better to focus on preventing it by observing the following guidelines from the Canada Safety Council.
Family Fire Safety
In the Kitchen
In the Home
Your Smoke Detector
Smoke Alarms Save Lives!
Ninety-five percent of Canadian households have at least one smoke alarm. That explains why fewer Canadians die in home fires now than back in the 1970s, before this practice became widespread. Here are some tips on using them properly.
Types of Smoke Alarms
Source: Canada Safety Council
In Case of an Auto Accident
After a Fender-Bender
If you're involved in a car accident, it's important to know what to do afterward:
Your accident report must be filed with the police within 48 hours. When you report the claim to your broker, you will also need a copy of the police report or accident number.
Cell Phones Behind the Wheel
Safety All Along the Line
Do you ever talk on the phone while driving? Or do you drive while talking on the phone?
Remember that the danger increases with use, and that it's better to be safe than sorry! Take the time to go over these tips from the Canada Safety Council.
Talking on the Phone
Source: Canada Safety Council