Are Your Valuables Protected by Your Home Insurance?

If you check your homeowners insurance, the personal items typically covered are:

  • furniture
  • appliances
  • jewelry
  • coins
  • collectibles

If you have more valuable possessions in your home, consider obtaining home contents insurance or the specialized home insurance policy called personal article insurance floater. Among treasures covered

  • jewelry collections
  • rare collectibles
  • wines
  • antiques
  • small sculptures
  • postage stamps
  • paintings by highly recognized artists
  • fur coats
  • art objects
  • fine china
  • rare coins, books and collections

The personal article floater covers valuable objects at amounts agreed upon between you and the insurer. Usually, it does not have deductibles, so you receive the full amount of coverage in case something adverse happens. The floater also covers your possessions in all types of risks, unless a specific risk is clearly written out as exclusion.

A floater has also an attractive provision called mysterious disappearance. This covers a loss of a possession even if the cause of the loss is unknown.

There are also other things you can do to ensure that your valuable possessions are adequately covered. They include the following:

  1. Make an inventory of your treasures. Catalog them using a digital camera or a video camera. Record dates, prices, special characteristics and other relevant information. Keep a folder for your receipts and a CD for your records and images.
  2. Have your precious items appraised by specialists. Your jewelry should be appraised by a jewelry appraiser, your stamps by a philatelic service, your painting by an art appraiser and your rare coins by a coin appraiser or dealer.
  3. Make your own research on the Internet about personal article floaters and do some home insurance comparisons.
  4. Consult with your home insurance company about cost-effective preservation measures that would minimize risks to your possessions, such as using burglar protection systems.
  5. Consult your home insurance broker about the floater and how it affects your home insurance costs.




One response to “Are Your Valuables Protected by Your Home Insurance?”

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    Designed to protect personal property, homeowners insurance is probably insufficient to safeguard your collection. Homeowners insurance may:

    1. Limit personal property coverage to a percentage of the residence value (50-70%);
    2. Limit the amount payable for theft of valuable items like silver, crystal, guns, stamps, paper documents and other collectibles; and
    3. Not cover losses due to flood, hurricane and earthquake.

    Even if your collection is covered, you may not be able to make a claim unless you have your collection listed on a schedule. Finally, claims settlement may be based on actual cash value rather than the replacement value of the collectible.

    If you are utilizing your homeowner’s policy to cover your collectibles, be sure to call your agent or insurance representative to discuss the coverage available under your policy. Put your understanding of the coverage in writing and request a written acknowledgement and comments. The best way to protect yourself is with a separate policy specifically designed to insure collectibles.

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