With the turning of the calendar, it’s time to start taking inventory on everything from personal habits to household budgets to — you guessed it — insurance coverage. As you start tackling your list in the new year, remember to review and update your insurance policy — especially if you received valuable gifts during the holiday season.
What is and isn’t covered?
Many people are surprised to discover that unendorsed homeowner policies have limits on coverage* for theft of certain types of personal items including jewelry, watches, furs and firearms. A common limit for theft of jewelry, watches, furs, precious and semi-precious stones on a homeowners policy is $1,500. Your policy deductible does apply to this type of loss. If you misplace any of these items (as opposed to a loss by theft), you may not be covered at all under your normal insurance coverage. Coverage for items like coins and stamps can be limited to a special limit of coverage no matter what the cause of damage is.
What additional coverage options are available?
Scheduled personal articles endorsements are additional coverages that insure a particular item on your policy at a specific amount. Not only does a personal articles schedule provide broader coverage and increase the limit of coverage for valuable item loss, in most cases it does not include a deductible.
If you experience a loss, additional coverage for certain property items can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. The more accurate and updated your policy and coverages are, the easier it is for your claims to be handled quickly and efficiently.
- Take inventory of your belongings. Make a list of valuable items that you own. Remove any items you longer own from any existing scheduled property endorsements.
- Have your valuables appraised. Obtaining appraisals on items like jewelry, furs, watches and firearms is the best way to determine the current value of those goods. Getting valuables appraised periodically also helps keep them properly insured as the market and inflation ebb and flow.
- Take photos and/or record videos of your valuables and receipts. These images can be helpful in the event of loss tied to a catastrophe like a tornado or a house fire. Save images to the cloud so that they are safely stored and accessible.
- Meet with your agent to review which types of additional coverage are right for you. Your independent agent may request an appraisal for some items to ensure that there is no discrepancy in the value or replacement cost of the property.
- Consider including coverage for items such as electronics, musical instruments and artwork. Cell phones, laptops, cameras and many other types of property can also be insured on a personal articles coverage endorsement.
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*The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.