Valuable personal property insurance sounds repetitive — if you already have renters or homeowners insurance, isn’t that enough?
Surprisingly, the answer is likely no. If you own an expensive engagement ring, an antique collection or a custom-made musical instrument, then a standard renters or homeowners insurance policy probably isn’t insuring the full value of your items.
If you suffer a loss due to a fire or a burglary, you’ll wish you’d added valuable personal property insurance to your financial portfolio.
The first step to determining if you’re uninsured is to find out the limits of your coverage. Your policy might specifically exclude jewelry and other valuables. Or it may limit coverage to a certain amount — usually $10,000 or less.
But for the most part, you can’t buy valuable personal property insurance unless you buy a property insurance policy first.
Once you know how much coverage you have, assess the value of the items you’d like extra insurance for. Many jewelry pieces and antiques are worth much more than when they were purchased. Get official appraisals for each item, along with your proof of ownership, such as a receipt, if you have one.
You will want to insure each item as individual riders on your policy if your coverage falls short. For example, if you own a $5,000 engagement ring and a matching set of diamond earrings appraised at $2,000, your homeowners insurance policy’s cap of $3,000 on jewelry losses will leave you short $4,000.
When you add each valuable item as a rider on your policy, you’re also covered for a wider range of losses, such as if a stone falls out of your engagement ring. You wouldn’t be covered for this loss under a standard policy with no rider.
When you’re increasing your valuable personal property insurance coverage, make sure to ask your insurance company the right questions.
First, make sure you know how to file claims. Some insurance policies may require that you purchase a replacement, then request reimbursement. Some policies may simply mail you a check for the value of the total loss.
Are you required to continuously update the appraisal of the valued items? If so, how often should you send appraisals to your insurance company?
Are there any losses that are not covered under the policy? How should you prove the loss to your insurance company?
At Four Seasons Insurance, we make it easy to assess and increase your valuable personal property insurance as needed. Walk through the steps with us and we’ll help you determine how much coverage you need, offering you a personalized quote for each valued item.