How To... Protect Your Valuables

Bob de Wit
January 13, 2016

As seen in...

Westcoast Condominium

Are you aware of all the contents in your home? Do you know their value? Can you list these off the top of your head? Probably not. It is imperative to ask yourself these questions before the unthinkable happens. It is much easier to tally all your possessions while they are still in front of you. 

Whether you are a victim of theft or of a natural disaster, engaging in preventative measures increases your chances of recovering the full value of all your possessions and provides peace of mind that all items are accounted for.

Crimes of opportunity for quick cash are the most prevalent offenses. I spoke with GVHBA member Federated Insurance, which recommends the following:

  • Set automatic light timers, to make your home look occupied at all times.

  • Close your blinds at night, especially if your home is on ground level, to prevent those passing by from seeing valuables on display. 

  • Lower the sound on your telephone and answering machine, so they can’t be heard outside. You don’t want unanswered calls broadcasted.

  • Mark possessions with engraving pens or permanent markers to aid recovery, especially items that can be easily carried away (e.g. bicycles, electronics, musical instruments, sports equipment, etc.) This helps items to be returned to you and, most importantly, it works as a deterrent as marked items are harder to sell. 

Federated Insurance also suggests these tips to guide you in the event of an insurance claim:

  • Mark down serial and model numbers of all big-ticket items. Think jewellery, electronics, etc. Categorize items by room to help you remember and stay organized.

  • Make digital copies of receipts and back these up in password-protected cloud storage (e.g. Dropbox). This keeps copies from being misplaced and keeps them off the premises. Remember to keep this list up to date.

  • Take pictures of every room and also back these up in the cloud. Pictures of items in your condo can be vital to aiding insurance claim settlements. 

  • Once all possessions are documented this will assist you in making sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

Eliminating crimes of opportunity, keeping an up-to-date list of possessions in a safe place, and a thoroughly understood insurance policy are your keys to keeping your valuables safe.

Bob de Wit
Bob de Wit is the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), the voice of the residential construction industry in Metro Vancouver. GVHBA has more than 850 members and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders' Associations.