Have you ever gone on vacation and worried that your stuff won’t be there when you get home? Your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance may provide coverage for damaged or stolen personal items, but sometimes it’s not enough. This coverage is typically limited to a certain amount of money for standard plans. If you have valuable items and you want to ensure they’re properly covered and that you’ll receive a decent amount of money for your claims, then you should consider a valuable items policy.
“Valuable” item refers to expensive, rare, or collectible items that are worth a significant amount of money. Most people think of valuables as fine jewelry and your silverware/fine China, but it also includes artwork, coin/stamp collections, musical instruments, medical devices, cameras, and various electronics.
If you’re unsure of what your personal items policy covers, you should go over it again and double-check to make sure you have enough coverage. Does your personal items coverage include all perils or named perils? Peril is something that would cause damage (like a fire or a tornado).
All Perils means the insurance company has to prove if your item is not covered. This option is more expensive because it covers everything except perils that are specifically excluded (think flood or earthquake).
Named Perils means the insurance company can only cover it if it’s damaged as a result of a peril listed on the insurance policy. This typically covers your basics like vandalism and theft, storms, and more depending on what your insurer covers.
Did you inherit something from grandma and have no idea what it’s worth? Get an appraisal done by a professional! They can tell you how much your valuables are worth. Some items appreciate (or depreciate) over time, so have your valuables appraised every few years so you’re aware of their current value. Insurance agencies typically have a cap on the amount they’ll cover, so you may need to take out extra coverage if your policy’s limits aren’t enough.
Don’t be at a loss any more than you need to be after peril occurs. Create a home inventory so you have a list of exactly what is in your house and what your items are worth. This helps both you and your insurer with claims. Catalog everything and include pictures and descriptions of each item. It’s even better if you include receipts with the date of purchase with the original value if possible. If you had your valuables appraised, be sure to include those appraisals as well.
Most personal item coverages have actual cash coverage, meaning that your insurance will cover the amount an item is worth. Many items like furniture and appliances lose their value as time goes on. If you upgrade to a replacement cost coverage plan then the insurance will have to cover the original cost of the item. This plan is pricier, but it can be worth it in the long run if you live in an area prone to peril. Also, if you have this plan make sure you keep the receipts for the items you buy!
If you’re concerned about the insurance for your valuables, don’t wait until it’s too late. Talk to your local insurance agent to discuss a quote for a valuable items policy today!