Whether you have homeowners or renters insurance, you should check to see if your valuables are adequately covered. A standard homeowners policy provides coverage for personal belongings, but it may not be enough insurance for valuables you own. In most cases, an insurance company offers ways to adjust your policy to make sure you have the right coverage.
Valuable Items That You Might Have in Your Home
When your insurance company asks about “valuables” they are referring to rare, collectible, or expensive items. So, what are some of the items that your insurance company may consider valuable? Here are some examples:
- Fine jewelry
- Antiques, heirlooms
- Fine china or silverware
- Coin and stamp collections
- Musical instruments
- Sporting equipment
- Medical equipment
Purchasing extra insurance for valuables is the best way to know your expensive items are protected from risk.
Do I Need More Insurance for Valuables?
If you have some of the above items in your home, you may need additional insurance coverage to protect your investment. Your homeowners policy provides some coverage for valuable items, but the coverage is often limited to $1,000 to $1,500 per item.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, you have two options for adding coverage for valuables: (1) increase the limits on your policy, (2) add a personal articles floater.
- Increasing the personal property limits on your existing policy will give you more coverage for all of your belongings. Depending on your insurance provider, you may be able to raise the coverage for valuables to $2,000 per item or $5,000 in total.
- A Personal Articles Floater (PAF) or rider can be purchased separately or attached to an existing policy. A PAF allows you to list all the valuables you want covered.
Either option will increase your insurance premium, but the extra cost will be worth it if a loss occurs.
How Do I Choose the Best Insurance for Valuables?
Before deciding which approach to take, you’ll need to take certain steps to ensure that you’re making the best choice. For instance:
- Check your existing policies limits
- Have your valuables appraised
- Make a detailed inventory of your valuables
Choosing the right coverage for your valuables can be confusing at best. The simple approach is to find out if your items are worth more than the limits on your existing policy.
After completing these steps, talk with your insurance agent before purchasing additional insurance for valuables. The agent will help you decide if you need another policy, an endorsement, or an upgrade of your current policy.
Tips for Creating a Home Inventory
A detailed home inventory of your personal belongings will be useful if you suffer a loss due to fire or other circumstances. You can make a list and also take photographs of each item. The list should include:
- date you purchased the item
- a short description
- place of purchase
- serial number
- original value
It’s a good idea to make digital and hard copies and store them in a safe place outside of the home such as a bank deposit box. This information will be useful if you need to file a claim and can be used for tax purposes.
What Is Replacement Cost Insurance for Valuables?
Most insurance companies replace lost, stolen, or damaged valuables at their actual cash value (ACV). The payouts will take depreciation into account. If you upgrade to Replacement Cost Value (RCV), the payouts are based on the item’s original cost without depreciation. Keep in mind that RCV insurance is more expensive than ACV, but the payouts are higher.
If you don’t have a homeowners or renters insurance policy, you may be able to purchase a standalone policy. You can also purchase a buyer’s protection plan when buying expensive items like jewelry or electronics.
Remember, your valuables must be damaged in a covered peril before the insurance will pay out. The types of covered perils include:
- Fire or smoke damage
- Weather-related damages
- Some types of water damage
When a valuable item is damaged in one of these events, your homeowners policy only pays compensation up to the insurance coverage limits set forth on the declarations page. If you have a standard insurance policy, the coverage may not be enough to replace your valuable item.
Sandifer Insurance Agency Can Help You Protect Your Valuables
It would be great if we could avoid any catastrophes that threaten our personal property. But, since we can’t, the best solution is to take steps to mitigate losses. The best way to do that is to have adequate insurance insurance coverage. Extra insurance for valuables can provide peace of mind as well.
If you’re concerned about protecting your valuables, contact Sandifer Insurance Agency today. One of our agents will be happy to evaluate your existing policy and advise you on the best options.
Sandifer Insurance Agency is a family-owned business located in Cheraw, SC, with over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry. Whether you need insurance for valuables, homeowners insurance, life, automobile, farm, or commercial insurance, we will ensure that you get the right coverage at an affordable rate.
Contact us today by phone, email, or online to learn more about our services.
- iii.org/article/ – Do I Need Special Coverage for Jewelry and Other Valuables?