An insurance checklist for homeowners

Dorothy and Toto probably weren't thinking about insurance coverage when their farmhouse crash-landed in Oz. But for many homeowners, a tornado, such as the one that hit Kansas in "The Wizard of Oz," poses the possibility of losing everything if not adequately insured.

Help prevent a loss

A destructive storm, fire or home burglary may make for a thrilling movie, but almost always makes for a nightmare in real life. Most disasters come without warning, but there are steps homeowners can take to lessen their blow.

Protection from storms:

  • Keep your home and property well-maintained and free of debris.
  • Secure heavy bookcases, appliances and artwork to walls.
  • Have a safe family gathering area on your lowest level, underneath a stairwell if possible and away from windows.

Fire safeguards:

  • Install and maintain smoke alarms throughout your home.
  • Put fire extinguishers in strategic locations such as the kitchen, utility room and garage.
  • Consider installing a sprinkler system.

Theft prevention:

  • Install a security system.
  • Use timing devices to turn on lights when you're away from home.

Make the claims process easier

Some disasters can't be avoided. If facing a loss, a detailed household inventory is a valuable tool for filing an insurance claim easily and getting it settled quickly. An inventory is also helpful for filing a police report or verifying losses on your income tax return. Read more about home inventories below.

We can help

If you have questions about your coverage, visit one of our branches or call us at 1-800-443-6316.

A household inventory: a must-have

A household inventory of the personal possessions in your home and on your property will make filing an insurance claim much less painful. Some tips for compiling your list:
  • When you make a list of your possessions, include a description; where and when you bought them as well as and makes and models. Attach the sales receipts or purchase contracts and appraisals if you have them.
  • A quicker and easier method is collecting visual evidence of your possessions by taking photos of each room or recording video.
  • Valuables such as jewelry, antiques, artwork and other collectibles often increase in value and should be covered by a personal property policy above and beyond your homeowners coverage.
  • Insurance appraisals help estimate value and prove ownership.
  • Include items stored in your attic, basement, garage or outbuildings on your list. Tools, sports gear, lawn equipment and outdoor furniture are often overlooked, but expensive to replace.
  • Keep your inventory (including the written list, photos, video) in your safe deposit box at Think for safe keeping.

Insurance products are offered through Think Insurance (MN license # IA-538), not Think Bank. Insurance products are not FDIC insured, are not insured by any federal agency, and are not a deposit or guarantee of Think Bank.