The whirlwind of the holiday season has come and gone, and by now most of us have finally put the decorations back in the attic, stopped eating those leftover cookies for breakfast and dealt with the harsh reality of getting back into the swing of our normal daily routines.
We’ve all been told, “It’s better to give than to receive.” However, receiving can be great, too—especially if it includes becoming the proud owner of a diamond engagement ring, one-of-a-kind piece of art, cherished antique or cuddly puppy. Before you get too caught up in the grind of your day-to-day life, take the time to make sure your new possessions are insured. Forgetting to do so could cost you!
What to Consider When Choosing Coverage
Standard homeowners insurance policies typically do not cover high-value items such as jewelry, art or antiques beyond the general $1,000 to $2,000 limit unless specifically requested, especially if the valuables were not in the home when the policy was created. Your best option may be to purchase a personal property endorsement or floater through your insurance agent. These types of policies can allow your new items to be insured for the appraised values, which can easily exceed the general limit. For example, if you enjoy collecting gems and jewels, a floater policy may protect your items if they’re lost or stolen. So the more valuable items you have, the more important it becomes to purchase additional coverage. Give your agent a call today to walk through the basics of insuring high-value items and to pursue the option that best fits your unique needs.
Lacking Liability Coverage Can Come Back to Bite You in the End
If you added a puppy to your family during the holiday season, stop what you’re doing and give your insurance carrier a call now.
According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 68 percent of U.S. households own a pet. And per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually—885,000 people require medical treatment.
Dog bites, along with other dog-related injuries, were the reason for one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars doled out in 2014, which totaled more than $530 million, says the Insurance Information Institute. The average cost of dog bite claims that year was $32,072.
Puppies play-bite and get defensive around unfamiliar people. So before Fido goes after the mailman, call your home insurance provider to increase the amount of liability coverage on your home insurance policy. If you don’t notify your agent that you now own a dog, you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket if your pup causes liability and property damage.
Add Your New Belongings to Your Home Inventory!
A home inventory is an itemized list of all your possessions and their values. Why is this important? If you see your home in a state of disrepair due to a burglary, fire or other typically covered peril, you may be too frazzled to remember everything that needs replacing, let alone how much you paid for an item. If you don’t have a home inventory, now is the time to create one.
After the holidays, you may have a plethora of new items that should be added to your home inventory. When adding new high-value items to your policy and/or home inventory, be sure to include receipts, photos, videos and/or descriptions to provide proof of value and ownership—your agent will ask to see these before updating your policy with the new coverage. If you plan to insure an expensive family heirloom, you may need to produce an official statement of value written by a trusted appraiser.
It’s best to have a clear record of the value of all items to avoid any misunderstandings with your insurance company in the event of theft, loss or damage. Keep all documentation regarding the value of your insured items in safe locations, such as a safety deposit box or fireproof box, for easy accessibility. And have multiple copies stored in different places, just in case one is lost, stolen or damaged.
Maintain Peace of Mind
No monetary amount can cover the disappointment of losing a sentimental keepsake, but the confidence that
comes with knowing your treasured possessions are insured is invaluable. Don’t wait until it’s too late—contact your insurance agent today to ensure that your high-value items are covered.