While personal property coverage is an important part of your homeowner’s insurance, it is a good idea to take a closer look at your policy to understand what that coverage can do to protect you. You may find that additional coverage called planned personal property can help protect some of your most valuable items.
To properly protect your belongings, you need to know a little more about the differences between the two types of cover.
IS THE STANDARD PERSONAL PROPERTY INSURANCE ENOUGH?
While a standard homeowner policy generally includes coverage for your personal belongings, you can set a dollar limit on how much you can pay for certain categories of valuables like jewelry (sometimes there is even a limit per item).
For example, there may be a sub-limit of $ 1,500 on what your insurance company will pay for jewelry after a theft, although your personal limit on personal property is likely to be much higher.
So if you were to file a lawsuit for the theft of a $ 500 piece of jewelry, you would likely be in good shape. However, if the stolen jewelry is valued at $2,500, it is likely only covered up to the sub-limit of $1,500 (assuming, of course, it is a covered loss under your policy).
HOW PLANNED PERSONAL PROPERTY CAN HELP
This is where the planned personal property coverage comes into play. It is an optional addition to your homeowner's insurance policy that covers a greater number of hazards and can increase the coverage limits for certain high-value items.
Here are some of the items you might consider for planned personal property coverage:
- Jewels and furs
- Art and antiques
- Postage stamp or coin collections
- Musical instruments
- Expensive cameras
Typically, in order to schedule items, you must provide your insurance company with a recent receipt or professional assessment, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
WHAT IS UNPLANNED PERSONAL PROPERTY?
Extraordinary personal property includes items that may be covered by your standard personal property insurance but are not specifically listed in your policy. Extraordinary real estate is subject to the standard coverage limits (and floors) set out in your homeowner, tenant, or condominium insurance. Your agent can help you decide whether you can benefit from additional cover for unscheduled items.
THE ADVANTAGES OF PROGRAMMING VALUES
Of course, programming your stuff is likely to cost you more premiums. III notes, however, that planned property coverage can have additional benefits:
More protection. Planned personal belongings can be covered for additional risks, including accidental loss of your planned items (e.g. dropping your wedding ring down the drain), which is generally not covered by a standard homeowner policy.
Not deductible. When purchasing planned coverage for personal property, you may have the option to choose a lower deductible or no deductible for planned items. This may not be the case for other items that are under personal property coverage protection in your standard policy.
Because the value of certain items, such as antiques or collectibles, can go up and down over time, III recommends that you conduct regular evaluations to ensure that the insurance coverage of your valuables is at its value.
Your agent can help answer questions about coverage options for your belongings so you can choose the protection that suits your needs.