Guide To Additional Homeowners Coverage For Valuable Items

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If you own small expensive items that are easily stolen or ‘priceless’, read this article.

Get an appraisal before you ask for quotes.

Store photos of your valuables on a Google Drive or other ‘cloud’ based server.

Did you inherit grandma’s heirloom jewelry, worth over $50,000?

Or do you have a great firearms collection in the basement? 

Are you an avid photographer, with thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment around the house?  

Did you know homeowners insurance doesn’t pay more than a fraction of the cost to replace any of these things?  Why? 

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Because these are all very small and easily stolen items, which tend to go missing very easily.  Remember:  insurance companies are in the business of making money.  

They are going to limit what is called “their exposure” to losses when they feel it necessary.  

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The other thing to remember is insurance companies base their decisions on probabilities.  

They have a team of people who study claims and trends when they decide how to price their policies and how much coverage to offer.

Common Items Needing Additional Coverage

A typical standard homeowners policy is going to offer very low limits of coverage on the following items.  Your ‘watch list’ of items insured for less than $2,500 by most homeowners policies include things such as:

Jewelry, watches, and furs  

Money or coins

Silverware

Firearms

Camera equipment

Computers

Fine art

Gold or silver bullion

Collectables and antiques

Anything you may call “priceless” that was passed down through your family.

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Every five or ten years, have your valuables reassessed by an appraiser.  Values change over time and the insurance may need to be adjusted.

Standard Homeowners Policy Coverages For Valuable Items

If you have any of the items in the above list and you wish to insure them properly, a ‘valuable articles’ policy should be purchased.

  These policies have great value because they don’t typically have a deductible and are based on a “agreed value” of the property insured, so you know exactly how much you will receive for each item. 

 The policies are usually inexpensive in comparison to the amount of coverage provided too.  I have seen them as low as $100 a year for $150,000 in coverage or more.

In order to put the policy in place, you will need to do a little work.  

Getting an appraisal from a qualified professional is usually the hardest part.  If you have the bill of sale, that is also helpful.

 With these items in hand, you will also need to take photos of the items and have the photos available for underwriting.  

These photos can also serve as proof of ownership if the items are ever destroyed.

With all the documentation in hand, you can ask your agent for a quote.  I suggest shopping around, since pricing and coverage terms can vary.

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