Should you have separate coverage to insure jewelry and other valuable items? We’ll consider a few things, such as what coverage is automatically included, what isn’t, and thoughts on risk tolerance.
What Coverage is Already Included?
Homeowners insurance includes some automatic coverage for personal property. Specific to jewelry, there is a sub-limit of $1,500 for items of jewelry, but it only applies if the jewelry is stolen. Some policies extend this coverage slightly, but the default coverage is extremely limited.
The same or similar restrictions apply to a few other types of property you might own:
- Precious (and Semi-Precious) Stones
- Silver, Gold, and Platinum ware (including silver-, gold- or platinum-plated ware)
- There’s also several restrictions on electronics and property used for business purposes
There are some variations based on your policy coverage form. And some insurance policies will automatically increase your coverage as part of special coverage packages. Aside from that, this part of the insurance policy is pretty straight-forward.
In short: coverage for jewelry is extremely limited on Renters, Condo-Owners and Homeowners policies. So much so that you should consider it to be no coverage at all.
What about Coverage for other High Value items?
Aside from insuring jewelry, are there any additional high value items you should consider? Some of the most common things people insure are Art Work and Collectible Items. While these items would be covered by a standard homeowners policy, it’s the valuation of this property that needs to be addressed.
Without an agreed upon value, there may be a dispute between you and the insurance company.
The value of a piece of art, or of a collection of items (this could be anything from baseball cards to coins and stamps to wine), is subject to opinion. Because of this, leaving coverage for these items as default can leave you significantly under-insured.
For these types of items, it’s recommended that you schedule separate coverage. By specifically scheduling items or collections, you enter an agreement with your insurance carrier that the scheduled items would be worth the agreed upon value. Often times, an appraisal would be required, but this can vary by carrier.
So should you get coverage?
The first question to ask yourself is this: if an item was lost, damaged or destroyed, would you want to replace it? If you answer yes, then it probably makes sense to get coverage.
Insuring your valuable items – such as jewelry, art work, electronics, collectibles, etc – is very inexpensive. The real consideration is how you want to insure them:
- Scheduling specific items is the best way (and for some items, only way) to get coverage. You don’t always need an appraisal (but they’re good to have), but you will need to do some type of inventory.
- Blanket coverage is good if you have many items and relatively low value. If you have $50,000 in jewelry with each item less than $5,000, it will probably be easier to cover them under a blanket coverage form. However, it is still worthwhile to keep a record of what you have in the form of appraisals, receipts, written descriptions and/or photo/video.
Insurance agents typically have tons of electronic storage space that’s backed up regularly. Even if you have blanket coverage, providing your agent with a copy of your records is good way to make sure you’re protected if the worst happens.
Have you considered insuring your valuable items? Not sure where to start? Give us a call or book an appointment. We’ll be happy to talk about your risk and what might make sense for your unique situation. We also have resources available for completing a home inventory and ways to protect and maintain the things you value.