You just spent your month's salary buying the perfect engagement ring for your future wife. Does your home insurance protect you in the event of a loss? You might believe that your valuables are adequately covered by your homeowners insurance policy, but in some cases, such as when high value items are damaged or stolen, coverage may be limited or nonexistent.
For instance, if the loss is the result of theft, many homeowners insurance policies typically have a $1,000 or $1,500 coverage amount for jewelry. These restrictions are in place to keep homeowners insurance costs down. However, if your home is broken into and $2,000 worth of jewelry is taken, and your policy only covers $1,000, your insurer will only pay you $1,000 to replace the stolen items.
When that happens, an insurance endorsement (also known as a rider) may be able to give your possessions more protection. This coverage can help shield you from the loss of expensive valuables like jewelry, furs, antiques, artwork, and collectibles for an additional fee.
Here are five suggestions to help you decide if you need coverage for valuable items.
1. Examine your insurance contract
A contract between you and your carrier governs your insurance policy. This document specifies the maximum amount for which you may be reimbursed in the event that certain expensive items are lost or damaged. Be aware that some things might not be covered, so carefully review your policy to see if your home insurance meets your needs. Contact your insurance agent if you have any questions.
2. Get Your Items Appraised
You might own things that are more valuable than you realize. It might be beneficial to have them valued to aid in your decision regarding whether you require additional coverage. Given that some items may not be covered by your home insurance policy, an appraisal can assist you in determining whether your home is fully insured.
Without expert assistance, it may be challenging to estimate the value of some items, such as jewelry or collectibles. It might be necessary to periodically have your valuables reevaluated. If their value rises, you might need to buy more insurance.
3. Make an inventory of your home
Until you have a complete understanding of your possessions, you might not be able to decide whether to purchase additional coverage. Making an inventory of your possessions may be a good idea. Don't forget to search your attic, basement, and garage for valuables like coin collections and antiques that may be stored there.
List all valuable items and, if available, attach copies of the receipts or the appraisals. If you ever need to submit a claim to your insurance company, this might be helpful.
4. Verify the crime rate in your area
You might need more extra coverage to protect your valuables if you live in a neighborhood with a high crime rate. Police agencies may keep track of crime data and share it to the general public. You might think about inquiring with the police about local home invasion trends. Installing a security alarm system is another option. You may be eligible for a homeowners insurance discount if you have an alarm system.
5. Inventory Your Electronic Devices
People use their electronic devices to carry out their jobs and maintain social connections in our increasingly high-tech world. Numerous new tools and devices have been created in recent years that could improve our lives. Make sure your home insurance policy will cover their loss if you keep expensive electronics and computers in your home.
Protect your individual valuables
When purchasing a home insurance policy, you might want to talk with your agent about the need to insure valuable possessions. It is a good idea to be aware of the coverage's limitations and exclusions if you decide to purchase additional coverage for expensive items.
When in doubt, your insurance agent is the best source for advice and recommendations for home insurance coverage that fits your needs.