A diamond bracelet, an oil painting, a high-tech sound system for your home theatre, or a rare baseball card – these and other high-value items may not be covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy.
Protect your valuables with these tips.
1 – Review Your Insurance Coverage
Your homeowners insurance policy has certain limits of coverage for high-value items, such as jewelry, high-tech equipment, and art. If the cost of replacing your high-value items exceeds your policy limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage.
Check your policy to see what is covered – or better yet, meet with your insurance advisor to identify any gaps in coverage.
2 – Identify High-Value Items
The items you will need to cover with scheduled personal property coverage will depend on your current homeowners policy. Once you have reviewed your coverage with your insurance agent, you’ll have a better idea of what items need additional coverage.
Some items that may need to be listed on a scheduled personal property policy include the following:
- Musical Instruments
- Collections (coins, stamps, baseball cards, etc.)
- Electronic equipment such as cameras, computers, televisions, and sound systems
Make sure your insurance agent knows if you own any of these items and what their value is. From there, your agent will be able to advise accordingly when it comes to purchasing additional coverage. Generally speaking, any item worth more than $1,000 to $2,000 should have additional coverage.
When identifying your high-value items, ask yourself: “Is the value of the item mainly sentimental?” and “Is the item irreplaceable?” If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” you might consider foregoing insurance. But talk with your insurance agent about these items before making that decision.
3 – Purchase Scheduled Personal Property Coverage
Once you have identified your high-value items, you can protect those items by purchasing scheduled personal property coverage. Your insurance agent can work with you to set up this additional coverage.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Consider your deductible amounts. The amount of your deductible impacts your policy premium (the cost of the policy). Any time you make a change to your policy, it is a good idea to look at your deductibles and see if any adjustments need to be made.
- Have an expert appraise the items you will be insuring. If you don’t know the value of the items you are ensuring, or if your insurance company requires it, you will need an expert appraisal. Each item should be listed with a description and the appraised value. In some cases, a bill of sale for recently-acquired items may be accepted by your insurance company in place of an appraisal.
- There may be a limit on the value you can insure even under scheduled personal property coverage. If you have items that are above this limit, they will need to be insured under a different policy. Your insurance agent can make sure you have the right coverage for your needs if they are aware of the high-value items that you own.
4 – Keep Thorough Documentation
Should you ever have to file a claim on one of your high-value items, here are some things you can do to make the claims process go more smoothly:
- Keep copies of store receipts for purchases of high-value items.
- Take pictures of all high-value items. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry can sometimes be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from. A picture also serves as a clear and permanent record of what the item is and the condition it is in.
- Keep copies of appraisals, photos of high-value items, and purchase receipts in your safe or a safe deposit box. Additionally, to save space and avoid faded paper receipts and appraisals, scan all documentation and store on a cloud-based service.
5 – Store Items Securely
Keep your jewelry and other high-value items in a secure place when not in use. The best options are a safe in your home or a safe deposit box.
For additional information and assistance in protecting your high-value items, please contact your Leavitt Group insurance advisor.
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