After the burglary, the police told us the thief likely took those items for their resale value and because they are very difficult to track. But there are a few things you can do to protect items like these.
- Cameras and Lenses
- Silver/Gold/Precious Metals
- Fine Art (This can include furniture that is considered artistically valuable)
- Home Entertainment Equipment
- Musical Instruments
- Fitness/Sports Goods (e.g. Treadmills)
Now that you know what can be covered, create a spreadsheet with the following information for all your valuables:
- Name and Brand of Item
- Model Number
- Serial Number
- Identifying Features (e.g. engraving on an iPod)
- Retail Price
- Date Purchased
- A List of Any Accessories and their Worth (e.g. CF Cards for a Camera)
Don't be afraid to ask your insurance agent if there is any other information that might be helpful for them while building your policy. They may ask you to keep receipts, for example, if you have them.
Next, take lots and lots of pictures. These photos are important because they confirm that the item was in your home and can be used when negotiating your insurance coverage, especially if your agent doesn't know what something is. (For example, I ran into this with a Bose Sound Bar, which was eventually categorized as stereo equipment.) Photos are also helpful to police should something get stolen. Once you have taken all these photos, go back to your spreadsheet and add a column for photo ID. Type in the corresponding photo number (e.g. IMG_6504) so you can keep the records fluid and easy to track.
If you do all this and one of your belongings is stolen, you will be glad you did. Not only will you be financially covered, but the police can use those serial numbers to search pawn shop databases and even eBay in some cases, so you may be able to get your stolen camera back after all.