Preserve & Protect – My Financial Wellness Guide – Part VIII

As you begin to build your life, carefully curating pieces that add beauty and joy to your home, take steps to do what you can to preserve and protect them, so you can enjoy them for many years to come. Making note of where each piece was acquired helps remind you of special moments and people, as well as help repair or replace them in case of an accident.

One of my favorite stories of all time is “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupery. The Little Prince meets a very curious fox which reminds him “you become responsible forever, for what you have tamed.” The fox explains that tamed means “to create ties”. When something touches our heart, has meaning, we become responsible for it’s care and keeping.

My Grandmother was gifted at record-keeping. She was the historian of events and memories for anyone she knew. I have a large box of her date books, which is a precious record of people, places and memories gone by. She would inscribe on the bottom of gifts, the date and source of the item, so we would always remember it’s story. My mother loves to capture new memories by keeping a little notebook with her on trips.

Unfortunately we cannot protect our possessions from every possible harm. Being intentional about keeping things clean, free from moisture or extreme temperatures and secure is a good start. If you leave things strewn about, they will get damaged or stolen. There is also this thing called “attractive nuisance” – a term that relates to children’s lack of appreciating the risks associated with an object or activity. It can also apply to leaving valuable items in a car or outdoors – it can attract unwanted attention.

Property insurance is designed to help recover from significant financial loss. Insure for the big things and cover the smaller losses out of pocket. This will help keep your rates low and keep more of your hard earned money for yourself.

Property insurance consists of two parts:

Coverages and Limits – this section determines what specific property is covered, by definition, and for how much. The policy will either cover for Replacement Cost (similar construction) or Actual Value Cost (depreciated based on age/condition). This section should also list the amount of your Deductible (how much you must pay before the policy pays).

Options & Endorsements – these are additional coverages that can be added on to the main policy to provide increased protection for specific risks. Review these carefully, as some are added without being explained in detail or even necessary.

If you own a unique piece of art, antique or jewelry – these are best insured on a Personal Articles policy. Some brokers may require records of appraisals, origin and unique features, in order to determine their replacement value.

If you have a side gig, your personal property may be excluded from coverage. For example, a camera or studio equipment you use to generate income, may be excluded as “business” property rather than personal. Get clarity from your broker and be sure to get it in writing.

Keep copies of any warranties that come up products you purchase. Read carefully the purpose of any specialty insurance offerings such as cancer insurance, travel insurance, or rental car insurance. Some times you already have that protection and don’t require the extra. Keep photos, receipts or manuals as long as you own them – to make it easier to identify their replacement value if needed.

Enjoy your beautiful collections that spark a smile and warm your heart. Life is fleeting and these mementos can help remind us to live fully each day.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay: guoguogaoyu88