It’s easy to believe that once you have an insurance policy in place – whether it’s for a home you rent or a home you own – that your belongings are covered and you can go about your life. However, there are a number of instances in which your insurance policy may not cover as much as you think, and many of those items are small.
Jewelry and watches, cameras and electronics, wedding and holiday gifts, fine art and family heirlooms aren’t always fully covered by a standard homeowners or renters insurance policy. Most standard policies will limit coverage on these types of items at $2,000 or less, which could be a fraction of their worth.
Additionally, the coverage limit may depend on the reason the claim is made. Your insurance policy may address claims for theft differently than claims for other types of covered incidents, and it might not cover accidental loss at all.
You can make sure that there are no gaps in your coverage of expensive items and gifts by purchasing an additional policy referred to as an endorsement or floater. These policies offer further coverage for expensive items in your household, and often include coverage for accidental loss. While an endorsement will increase your premium, they also have no deductible in the event of a claim.
Start reviewing your coverage by creating a home inventory of your belongings. Create a spreadsheet or list of your possessions, including information such as brand name, model number, serial number, a short description, the year purchased and the item cost. Consider taking photos of your belongings to keep with this list. Having a completed, up-to-date home inventory can help you better see where you might need extra coverage.
If you have expensive jewelry or fine art, having your pieces appraised will help ensure your insurance policy covers the correct dollar amount. Also be sure to keep copies of receipts on file for expensive gifts and items in your household. Having these documents handy and available when you need to make a claim will help speed the process.