Once you've contacted your local insurance agent to begin Valuable Items coverage, you will be asked to list all the items that you'd like to insure. Smaller items, in many cases, need not be listed individually and what is called "blanket" coverage may be required. This list, or "schedule," would include a detailed description of each item and the appraised value. In most instances, a copy of a current appraisal, conducted within the past three years, may be required. This detailed schedule is attached to your policy. Your premium is then based on the total amount for which your special property is valued.
Though it isn't required for your policy, you may want to photograph each piece in your collection and store the photos in a safe place. If your entire collection is stolen or damaged, it will be easy to remember each item for your claim report.
Many different types of possessions can be accommodated by a Valuable Items policy.
Here's a quick listing of some of the items typically covered:
- cameras (video or still) and related equipment - china or crystal
- coins (rare and current) - firearms
- golfer's equipment - furs
- jewelry - musical instruments
- personal computers - stamps (rare and current)
- works of art, including paintings, etchings, pictures and other bona fide
works of art (such as oriental rugs, statuary, rare books, manuscripts and
bric-a-brac) of rarity, historical value or artistic merit.
If you own something of value that is not listed above, it may still be eligible for coverage.
The protection provided for personal property under the typical homeowners policy is very broad, and includes coverage for your furniture, clothing and appliances. In addition, it provides limited coverage for such items as jewelry, silverware, furs and firearms. However, it may not cover some types of loss that may be very important to you, such as the stone falling out of your diamond ring, your antique statue that is accidently broken or a flooded basement that damages your personal computer. In fact, most homeowners policies set dollar limits on the amount of protection offered to cover the theft of items such as jewelry or furs (usually only up to $1000)*, firearms (up to $2000)* or silverware (up to $2500)*. Optional add-on coverage to the homeowners policy (like a Valuable Items endorsement) is available to enhance coverage by providing higher limits (up to as high as $50,000 in some cases, but limited to $10,000 per item)* and expanded protection for special property. This usually provides most homeowners with enough coverage.
However, if you own extremely valuable items, this still may not be enough coverage. For example, if you own a diamond ring valued over $10,000 or a collection of fine arts valued over $50, 000, you need more protection and should consider buying a separate Valuable Items policy.
( *- Each policy has its own set limits for each item) Do you know what yours are?
Valuable Items coverage supplements coverage for possessions of higher monetary value, such as a diamond engagement ring, your grandfather's pocket watch, artwork or a valuable collection. While most homeowners policies have limits on the dollar amount and type of loss that can be recovered, Valuable Items coverage will provide the protection you need for your most valuable possessions in the event of loss through theft, accident or natural disaster.