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Appraising and Insuring Valuable Items

Imagine this: you’ve just gotten engaged and are toting around your sparkling dream ring. Suddenly, you look down and realize that one of the diamonds has fallen out. Are you covered?

How about this situation: You’re wearing your grandfather’s antique watch while you fly across the country for business. You take it off during the flight to be more comfortable. The next day, you can’t find it. Will your insurance cover the loss?

Most homeowners or renters insurance policies have a limit on the dollar amount and type of loss that can be covered when it comes to high value items. This means that you may only be protected in the instance of theft; and even then, a typical limit is $1,000-$2,000 for jewelry. For high value items like jewelry, antiques, or artwork, you should consider purchasing additional coverage such as a Jewelry/Fine Art Rider, also known as a Scheduled Property Floater. This not only increases the amount that you are insured for, but also expands the protection to cover situations like the scenarios above, in which a valuable item is damaged or lost, not stolen.

Types of Belongings You Should Consider Covering

Jewelry may come to mind first when thinking about additional insurance coverage for valuable items; but in reality, there are many common household items that should be considered. Expensive electronics such as computers and cameras may need additional coverage. Antiques, silverware, china or crystal are other items to think about. Musical instruments, golf equipment, and even collectable items like stamps or coins may also require Scheduled Property Floaters. Ultimately, it’s up to you to go through your belongings to determine which items are of higher value and may warrant additional insurance.

Appraising High Value Items

Having your valuables periodically appraised is crucial to ensuring that your homeowners insurance is adequate. Consider this: you buy a gold watch in 1990 when gold is worth approximately $675 per ounce. You obtain insurance coverage for the watch and forget all about it. Flash forward to 2016, the value of gold has nearly doubled to about $1,200 per ounce. Your insurance policy is most likely inadequate to cover any damages or instances of theft for the watch. Conversely, if the value of your item has decreased over the years, you may be paying too much to insure the item. Bring your appraisal in to your agent, and they will adjust your policy accordingly!

Types of Insurance Available for Valuables

In terms of adding coverage for your valuable items, there are two options available. If you wanted to insure individual items of value, such as an expensive ring or piece of artwork, you could choose to add on Jewelry/Fine Arts Riders or Scheduled Property Floaters. The alternative option is to increase the special limits under your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policy. For example, if you had a large amount of silverware you wanted to insure, you could increase the limit from say $2,500 to $10,000 for silverware. Keep in mind that when increasing special limits, the coverage provided is not as broad as that of a Jewelry/Fine Arts Rider. The type of plan you choose depends on the number, type, and value of the items you are trying to cover.

If your insurance agent has not reviewed the ins and outs of protecting your valuables with you, it’s a good time to call Gilbert Insurance at (781) 942-2225! We’re happy to give you insurance advice and walk you through all of your options.

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