Your home is your family’s hub: it’s your sanctuary and the most valuable asset you own. Protecting your home (even if you’re renting) with a homeowners insurance policy keeps you safe in the event of a theft or natural disaster, but if you own high-price valuables, a homeowners policy alone may not be enough coverage to protect your prized possessions.
Examples of high-price valuables include jewelry, fine art, stamp and coin collections, silverware, china or crystal, furs, cameras, sound or sport equipment, guns, large machinery and much more.
Your beloved valuables are more than just things: they represent memories, stories and triumphs. In the case of a fire, tornado, hurricane or burglary, you want to be assured that your antique heirloom rug is covered.
Do you have the right kind of insurance for your valuables? A homeowners policy may not cover the loss or damages. To best protect yourself, you may need to pick up additional coverage.
Understanding Your Policy
In a nutshell, there are four types of homeowners coverage:
- Structural: coverage for your home (or dwelling)
- Personal Belongings: coverage for your personal items in or on your home
- Liability Protection: coverage for injuries or damages to other people or property
- Additional Living Expenses: coverage for outside expenses, i.e., hotels, meals while your home is being rebuilt
A standard homeowners policy does cover personal belongings but only to a certain amount, generally $1,500, and covers a category of belongings, such as jewelry, without specific coverage for individual items. If your individual items are worth more and would be difficult to replace, you’ll need to increase your coverage.
Some insurance companies offer additional coverage for your valuables tacked onto your existing coverage. However, it can be difficult to understand the different options for insuring your valuable items.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), there are two ways to increase coverage for valuables:
- Raise the liability limit. According to III, this is the least expensive option; however, the amount is limited to individual and overall losses, meaning the claim limit for an individual piece could be $3,000 with the overall limit at $5,000.
- Purchase a policy floater. Although the pricier option, it provides the most comprehensive coverage for your valuables. With a floater policy, you’ll “schedule” your individual valuables, which can cover losses of any type (including those your homeowners policy doesn’t cover).
Keep in mind you’ll have to get all individual valuables professionally appraised before purchasing a floater policy.
If you’re ready to purchase additional coverage, you’ll need to take a few additional steps before you’re covered.
Begin taking inventory of your home and personal belongings. Take two forms of inventory, such as photos and a written list, and keep them in an area that isn’t your home.
Although a homeowners policy is a great defense against the unforeseen, picking up additional coverage for your prized valuables is the smartest way to know you’re protected -- no matter what happens.
Pepper, Johnstone & Company protects your family with a choice of multiple insurance companies to choose from, for home, auto, farm, life and business. We've helped countless people save money on their insurance while making sure they're properly covered. Visit us today at our website, or give us a call at 256-232-7818 to get us working on a quote for you today. You can also request an online quote here.