Take a wander around your house. Or, if you’re not at home, take a mental tour of your home. Chances are there are a lot of expensive things that you’ve forgotten are there – they’re just a part of your home, so you don’t really think about them anymore. It’s not like you dwell on how fancy the décor at your home is, or how expensive the silverware was. Your valuables are just, you know. There.
But the thing is that these valuables might not have enough insurance coverage through your home insurance policy. For example, the limit of coverage for jewelry is often $1,000, and the limit is often $2,500 for silverware. Plus, a home insurance policy might not cover the loss of these valuables due to theft, accident, or natural disaster – it really depends on your policy. Would that be enough to protect all the jewelry and silverware that you own? What about your artwork? Heirlooms?
You know you need to make sure to protect your jewelry and valuables from theft, but to make sure that your valuables are protected from anything that life could throw at you, we’ll go over your options for insuring your belongings.
What belongings might need extra coverage?
Before we talk about some of the options for adding insurance for certain prized possessions, let’s go over a few things that might require additional insurance. Valuable items endorsements, policies, and floaters (we’ll explain in a bit – don’t worry) are for more than just jewelry. You might not have thought about getting insurance for some of these things.
- Fine art
- Antique china or crystal
- Designer appliances
- Vintage wine
- Collections (Stamps, coins, etc.)
Pro Tip: Taking a home inventory can help you figure out if you have enough insurance for all of your belongings.
What are my options to insure my valuables?
To get insurance for your valuables, you’ll probably need to have a sales receipt or appraisal; this ensures that you’ll have enough coverage. Once that’s all figured out, there are a few different ways you can go to insure your belongings, depending on the value of the items you’re insuring and what their purpose is. Some of your coverage options are…
Valuable items endorsement:
An endorsement is an addition to your home insurance policy that amends your policy’s coverage. In this case, it “schedules” or adds coverage for things like furs, antiques, and jewelry. An endorsement will protect against many types of losses (minus intentional destruction – that’s just a big nope.)
Valuable items endorsements normally have a lower deductible than your home insurance, which is nice. They might even include “mysterious disappearance” if you’re not quite sure what caused the loss. They also provide higher limits of coverage and more protection for your valuable property.
A blanket endorsement can be used to insure collections. The blanket endorsement covers an entire collection for a set amount, so each and every baseball card or coin is covered in one go. Handy, right? Keep in mind that no item in the collection should be over $2,500 in value.
Valuable items policy:
Valuable item policies are for extremely valuable items (meaning that the item in question is worth over $10,000 or that a collection is valued at over $50,000.) A valuable items policy will give you higher limits of coverage, protect you against more perils, give you worldwide coverage, and can be expanded to add coverage for breakage.
A floater is insurance that covers one specific item that is easily movable – for example, a piece of jewelry.
Should I insure my valuables for the actual cash value or the replacement cost?
There are a few different ways to think about insuring your valuables: insuring for the actual cash value (ACV) or the replacement cost. There’s a big difference between the two.
If you insure your valuables for their ACV, then you’re insuring them for their value minus depreciation (basically this is the amount you’d get if you sold the item in the open market, taking into account things like wear and tear, etc.) That means that the insurance company would pay you the depreciated value of the item if you had a claim.
The replacement value, on the other hand, means that the insurance company would replace the property (value-wise) as if it were new. The amount that they’d give you is based on the value of other property that’s made of a similar material and used for a similar purpose.
So, generally, it’s a good idea to go with the replacement value when you’re insuring valuables. Depreciation is an unfortunate reality that you don’t want to be surprised by.
Any pro tips for insuring valuables?
Why yes, since you asked, we do have some pro tips!
Pro Tip #1. Keep an eye on the value of your items.
The “worth” of your valuables might go up or down over time, which is why it’s important to make sure to have them appraised regularly to make sure you have the right amount of coverage for your items or collection. Markets change, which impacts the value or your valuables.
Pro Tip #2. If something’s breakable, make sure your coverage covers breakage.
If you’re insuring something that could shatter into a million pieces, make sure that your insurance will indeed cover accidents, clumsiness, or surprise interior windstorms that could cause that crystal vase to meet an unfortunate end on a tile floor.
Pro Tip #3. Use a specialized appraiser.
When you’re getting something appraised to find out how much it’s worth, make sure that you use an appraiser who specializes in the type of item you’re insuring. Someone who specializes in fine art would be appropriate to appraise a beautiful sculpture that was willed to you by a relative. Someone who specializes in rare toys…not so much. Now, if you have a collection of vintage, limited edition action figures, that rare toy specialist would be perfect!
Pro Tip #4. Check what your jewelry policy covers for replacements.
If you’re insuring jewelry, your policy or endorsement should cover replacements with a similar quality. You want to make sure that you can actually replace the bracelet, necklace, earrings, or brooch that you’re trying to insure with one that’s equal in value and quality.
Pro Tip #5. Take advantage of the discount your security system might get you.
Does your home have a monitored security system? You could very well qualify for a discount on your insurance because of your security system. Make sure to ask about a possible security system discount when you’re going through the process of insuring your valuables.
If you have any valuables around your home, make sure that they’re protected by getting the proper coverage for them. You never know what might happen, so having insurance could become a lifesaver someday. Make sure to go over the specifics of whatever insurance plan you choose with your agent. Not all coverage is the same, so it’s important to understand what your insurance will and won’t cover.
Need a home insurance quote? Great! We can help you out with that. Just fill out our quote form or give us a call today and we’d be happy to get you a free quote for your home insurance. We can help you make sure that you have the coverage you need at the best possible rate.