Insuring Your Valuables – Consider More Than a Homeowners Policy

April 28, 2016

Homeowners insurance is an important policy that protects your home and many of your belongings, but it may not cover some of your more valuable assets, such as expensive jewelry, collectibles, rare artifacts, fine arts and limited editions. Your personal property is covered only for its actual cash value, which takes into account the property’s depreciation.

Homeowners insurance policies generally have limits on how much they will cover. While they will cover possessions lost or damaged by perils included in your policy – such as fire, windstorm, theft and vandalism – the standard policy has a relatively low limit of liability for theft, generally $1,500. With this limited coverage you may find yourself unable to replace your most prized possessions.

What are my options?

There are two options when insuring your valuables: raising the limit of liability under your homeowners policy or “scheduling” your items.

Raising the limit of liability is the more affordable option of the two, however, it comes with limitations. Scheduling your items, while costing more up front, will best protect your assets in the event of loss or damage.

Why you should consider scheduling your valuables

Scheduling, or listing your items, is something to seriously consider if you have higher priced valuables. When you schedule your valuables they must be appraised. For this reason, in the event of loss or damage, you will know exactly the value or replacement for that particular item.

Another perk of scheduling is that you will often receive broader protection. This may include accidental loss – such as dropping a ring down the drain or loosing a necklace on the subway – that your homeowners policy will not cover.

Regardless of whether you chose to schedule or expand your liability coverage, it is always important to keep an updated list of your valuables.

Who should consider scheduling their valuables?

You don’t have to be exceptionally wealthy to have even just a few items of worth or sentimental value. You may have an engagement ring, a few collectibles or an inherited piece of fine art and it’s worth making sure they’re protected.

If you do a considerable amount of traveling – especially with any valuables, scheduling your items may be a good idea. Homeowners policies don’t typically cover items such as lost jewelry or damaged camera equipment while away from home.

If you’re not sure what coverage is best for you, your agent can help you better understand the best fit for your current situation. If you have valuables that may be uninsured or underinsured, contact Brooks, Todd & McNeil and an agent can help assess your needs.