Start your New Year right! Take stock of your stuff and make sure you're covered

TORONTO, Jan. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - The beginning of a brand new year is the best time to review your home or tenant's insurance policy to be sure you have enough coverage, especially if you recently received any big-ticket gifts.

"Over the holidays, you may have purchased or been given jewelry, a flat-screen TV, a laptop or a tablet that may be worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Make sure the value of these gifts is reflected in your home, contents or tenant's policy," says Ralph Palumbo, VP, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

IBC recommends talking to your insurance provider about what your current policy covers. You may want to increase your coverage or add additional coverage to cover any new items you received over the holidays.

This is also an excellent time to create an inventory of all your stuff - or update last year's inventory. An efficient way to do this is to walk through your home photographing or filming your possessions with a digital camera.  One advantage of filming rather than photographing is that you can narrate as you go.  If you photograph, make a list as well.

Go room by room recording the contents and noting any high-value items. Remember to open all drawers and closets. And, of course, keep a backup copy of your recorded evidence in a secure location outside your home so you can retrieve it in the event your home suffers severe damage such as a fire.

To help you with your record-keeping, IBC offers a free secure application to store a room-by-room inventory of your possessions to help you get the right coverage and make it easier to settle a claim.

"When your policy comes up for renewal, it is great time to review it.   The first of the year is an excellent time to review the contract and check rates and the expiry to ensure you have time to make the appropriate changes, if necessary," Palumbo says.

If you have any specific questions contact your insurance representative or IBC's consumer information centre at 1-800-387-2880. For more information on home and tenant insurance visit ibc.ca

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion.

To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca and for IBC on Twitter follow @insurancebureau.

SOURCE: INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA

For further information:

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

To schedule an interview, please contact:

Helen Lialias
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 ext. 4312
hlialias@ibc.ca