What's the best way to insure your high-value belongings?
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Your homeowners insurance policy covers your personal property up to a certain limit. However, for more valuable items — such as jewelry or musical instruments — more stringent limits are imposed, meaning your valuables may not be sufficiently covered. Luckily, insurance companies offer a way of increasing coverage for certain items.
Find out more about how this coverage works and whether or not your valuable items are eligible.
Scheduled endorsements allow you to add extra coverage in order to insure high-value items beyond the limits imposed by a standard homeowners policy. Along with homeowners coverage, scheduled items can typically be added to renters and condo insurance policies as well. Coverage limits for such items are customized based on their worth so that you may replace or repair them.
Scheduled personal property coverage may be limited to specific types of property. The following items are usually eligible:
While standard coverage may protect most of your possessions, more expensive items may need extra coverage. A wedding ring worth $5,000, for instance, would not likely be covered for its full value under most home insurance policies. While most policyholders have the option to increase coverage for such items, a better option may be to schedule high-value items for their full worth.
Start with a home inventory to establish a rough estimate of your personal property's value. While this is a good practice for all of your belongings, it’s absolutely critical for collectibles or higher-value items. Take note of any items that could possibly exceed the sub-limit offered by most home insurance companies and consult with your insurer about whether or not additional coverage is needed. Furthermore, it’s likely that you will need to have certain items appraised in order for them to be accepted by your insurer. This appraisal will likely need to be updated routinely to account for any appreciation or depreciation of value. The cost of scheduled items insurance is likely to be approximately 1% to 2% of the item's total value.
Find below a breakdown of property types commonly requiring extra coverage and the coverage limits a home insurance policy typically offers.
|$200||Money, Gold, Coins|
|$1,500||Jewelry, watches, furs||Theft-only|
If the value of your item is higher than the sub-limit covered by your insurer, you will want to add a scheduled endorsement to increase specific coverage limits.
Making an insurance claim for a scheduled item works the same way as it does for other claim types. Contact your insurance company to report the damage, loss or theft. The company will likely advise you on your next steps, whether it be providing a list of approved repair shops or issuing a payout. Depending on your policy, you may not even have to pay a deductible.
Scheduled personal property is replaced at replacement cost value (RCV). This means that you will receive compensation for the full value of your personal property without any amount subtracted for depreciation.
Many homeowners policies will deny claims for damaged or destroyed personal property in certain cases, but a scheduled personal property endorsement often covers your goods on an open peril basis. This means that your belongings are covered against all perils unless they are explicitly excluded in your policy documents.
Furthermore, scheduled items are covered in cases such as accidental loss. For instance, if you are traveling and leave a scheduled piece of jewelry in a hotel room, that item will likely be covered. However, it should be noted that your items are not likely to be covered against general wear-and-tear or in extreme situations such as war or nuclear hazards.
If you own certain high-value items, such as fine art or a rare coin collection, this add-on coverage could be a good idea. Standard personal property insurance is not likely to provide enough coverage for these items, meaning that adding an endorsement or floater is a great way to ensure your valuables are protected.
Most homeowners insurance companies offer the option to schedule property, though they may vary slightly in what they cover. Certain premium insurers — such as Chubb, PURE or Cincinnati Insurance Company — may provide expanded coverage for high-value items as a standard part of their homeowners coverages. This could be a valid option for homeowners with collections of rare or collectible property.
If the cost of adding such coverage concerns you, it may be time to search for a new policy. The Zebra is a great place to start, as you can compare rates from a number of top insurance companies side-by-side. Simply enter your ZIP below to get started.
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