We’ve all heard the stories of loss after natural disasters or catastrophic events, such as fires or burglaries. Homeowners and renters insurance policies will cover your home and valuables in a lot of instances but there are some very important exclusions. Getting to know your policy, what is covered and what is not, can save a lot of trouble down the line. It also affords you the opportunity to acquire additional coverage to make sure you can replace all those items that reside in your home with you.
What May Not Be Covered?
Aside from the normal exclusions for war or natural disasters, there are usually exclusions or minimal coverages (sublimits) provided for expensive or specialty property you might own. Some of these items might include, but are not limited to:
- Watches and Jewelry
- Precious metals and coins
- Specialty electronic equipment
- Memorabilia (sports, historical collections, etc)
For example, sublimits for jewelry are typically $1,500 or up to $10,000 if you have a high-value homeowners policy. If you have expensive watches and jewelry, it won’t take long to exceed those values. Thankfully additional coverage and endorsements are available to cover these types of items. But how much should you ensure them for? What is their real value and how do you document it for the insurance company to make sure it is adequately covered and replaced?
Documentation and Appraisal
The first thing you need to do is keep your receipts and records for valuable items. Collectors tend to keep accurate records of memorabilia and its value, but do you have an idea of the current value of your other valuables? You can collect this information and keep it safe with a summary list. Most insurers don’t require appraisals unless, for instance, a single item of jewelry is over $50,000 in value or a piece of art is over $250,000. In any case, if you do have an appraisal having these records will give the appraiser a good place to start.
When you do have high-value items or if you lack records to support the value, due to gift or inheritance, it is a good idea to have the items appraised. The valuation from the appraisal will allow you to set a value, acquire appropriate insurance coverages and provide you with an itemized third-party inventory of what you have. Alternately, you can get blanket coverage for your valuable items. This type of coverage generally increases the sublimits on items and is a good way to insure numerous small items.
There is an additional cost to having appraisals and buying additional coverage, of course. The key is to find out the appropriate value so you get the most appropriate coverage for the lowest price. Acquiring your property and collections takes your time, money, and resources. Your insurance policy should be crafted to make sure your investments are protected.
Do you have a question about your appraisal? Feel free to call one of our team members at (800) 443-7007.