Homeowner’s or a renter’s insurance will protect your belongings in your home and help you to replace them if they are stolen, damaged, or destroyed.
Some valuable possessions are excluded from homeowner’s or renter’s policies. Often, lists of certain items or general types of belongings are provided in the insurance policy contract. How do you know if your valuables are covered by your existing insurance?
Do you need Valuable Articles coverage?
1. Read your insurance policy:
An insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company; reading it will help to determine whether or not your policy meets your needs. In this contract you will find the limits of coverage, the types of property covered, and the list of exclusions.
The coverage limit is the most money that your insurance company agrees to pay you for a covered loss. Different types of property may require different types of coverages, and coverages often have different coverage limits.
Exclusions are simply items or scenarios that are not covered by your insurance policy.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a standard homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy usually contains four parts:
- declarations page
- the insuring agreement
- exclusions section
- general conditions
Special, expensive items often need to be listed separately and sometimes appraised (we’ll get to that in a minute).
Coverage will be different from company to company, so be sure you read — and understand — yours.
Remember: if you have any difficulties understating your policy, make a phone call to your insurance agent. They are there to help you, and they should be able to explain your policy in plain English.
2. Make a home inventory:
Make a list of all of your valuable possessions with photographs and notes. In the case of a fire, don’t be surprised if your insurance company asks for an inventory. The company is only required to pay for personal property that you can prove that you owned. Be sure to check your garage, basement or attic for stored valuable items such as collectibles or antiques; you might have forgotten about some of them. If you have any receipts or appraisals store them safe with the list, they could be useful if you ever need to file a claim. Also include any high-end computers and other electronic gadgets.
3. Get Appraisals:
Some of your possessions may worth more than you think. Appraisals on personal property such as jewelry or collectibles might be necessary in order to ascertain their correct value.Remember when we mentioned listing especially valuable items separately on your homeowner’s or renter’s policy? An appraisal will help you find out if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provides the full coverage amount for your valuable items.
4. Review your home inventory with your insurance agent
Your insurance agent has many options for including extra coverages (named endorsements) to your existing homeowner’s or renter’s policy. Also other unique factors, such as the local crime rate or the possible risk of flood, may determine the types of endorsements that your agent may recommend that you consider.
The Bottom Line
Expect your insurance agent to be helpful with explaining your policy and the possible added coverage (endorsements). You should rely on their expertise, and your conversation should not include high-pressure sales tactics or confusing jargon.
At Henderson Brothers, we have over 125 years’ experience in protecting generations of families in both good times and bad. We represent many insurance companies, so we can match the best one to you. Call our personal lines department at 412-261-1842 for a free review of your insurance policy or to create a new one.
Please note that the information contained in this posting is designed to provide authoritative and accurate information, in regard to the subject matter covered. However, it is not provided as legal or tax advice and no representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This post should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.