If you’re like most people, there are certain items you own that you can’t imagine ever losing — possessions you deeply cherish or those that would be impossible to replace due to the cost of re-purchasing them. If you haven’t checked your home insurance policy recently, here are five key things to know about insuring your valuables:
1) Your homeowners insurance coverage is limited.
While your homeowners insurance is invaluable for covering the loss or destruction of many of your belongings (as well as damage to your home’s structure), your policy might provide only partial coverage for valuables. Insurance carriers don’t assume you have expensive pieces in your collection, so you will need to act to ensure your items are going to be covered in the event of a claim. Learn what is typically covered under a homeowners policy and compare it against your own.
2) Be proactive – schedule your personal property.
You can insure your valuables, even if they’re not fully covered under your homeowners policy. A valuable item can take weeks-, months-, or years-worth of income to purchase, but only a few seconds to be lost due to theft, natural disaster, or other unforeseen events. A scheduled personal property endorsement is an addition to your homeowners or renters insurance policy that provides protection for items such as:
- Jewelry (including engagement rings and watches)
- Coins and coin collections
- Stamps and stamp collections
- Silverware, including silver plated, gold plated, or pewterware
- Fine arts (breakage is an optional coverage)
- Furs and fur garments
- Musical instruments
- Sports equipment such as golf clubs or bicycles
- Hearing aids
How do I schedule personal property?
Contact your agent! We are happy to help you add a scheduled personal property endorsement on your existing homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy if it is the right fit for your needs.
3) Documentation and item inventories are must-haves.
When speaking with your agent about a scheduled personal property endorsement, we will ask you for important details about the item(s) you are scheduling. It helps to get an appraisal or have an original receipt. For jewelry, such as engagement rings and wedding bands, we will ask specifics about carat weight, cut color, clarity, and identifying marks.
We also recommend keeping an inventory of your home/valuable items for the unfortunate instance that you need to report a claim. An inventory is helpful for all items within the home, but especially for insuring valuable items you may have. Include detailed item descriptions and any existing documentation – invoices, appraisals, certificates, etc. Learn more about creating a home inventory here.
4) Get help understanding your policy.
Make sure to check with your agent so you fully understand the coverage being added to your policy. Is there a separate deductible? What is the replacement value of your item? What repairs are covered? Scheduled endorsements often include theft, damage, loss and disappearance, but not wear and tear.
5) Revisit your insurance needs regularly.
Personal insurance shouldn’t be set it and forget it! It is a good practice to review your personal insurance needs annually to make sure your coverage is still appropriate for your current lifestyle. Major milestones are also a good time to reach out to your agent to evaluate your needs. Marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, purchasing a new home, renovating your existing home, purchasing expensive items — all may signal a time when your personal insurance needs may change.
A scheduled personal property endorsement is not something that everyone talks about, but we at Walsh Duffield can help you determine if it would be a good fit for you. Contact us today to review your coverage and evaluate your personal exposures.