Maybe your most valuable possession is the new engagement ring on your finger or the set of golf clubs in the trunk of your car. Perhaps it’s the smart TV mounted on your living room wall or the fancy watch on your wrist. Whatever it is, if it’s in your home, then it’s covered by your homeowners insurance, right?
Many homeowners mistakenly assume that their homeowners insurance will cover them for any loss, but that’s often not the case. The standard insurance policy probably isn’t going to cut it if you need to file a claim for something valuable.
If you own something of value that you care about, it’s worth insuring by adding scheduled personal property coverage to your homeowners policy.
What Is Scheduled Personal Property Coverage?
The standard homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for your personal property, which refers to your belongings in your home, like appliances and furniture. It may also provide some coverage for high-value items, such as jewelry, cameras and antiques. However, that coverage usually caps out at around $1,000 to $2,000.
That amount is not bad if you were to file a claim for a stolen necklace worth a few hundred dollars. But if your engagement ring is stolen—the average cost of which hovers at just over $5,700 these days—you’d be in trouble. If you have a $1,000 limit for losses covered by your policy, that means you can only receive $1,000 from your insurance provider to replace it.
That’s where scheduled personal property coverage can help.
Scheduled personal property coverage is an optional insurance add-on that can provide additional protection for high-value items. This type of coverage can increase coverage limits and offer broader protection for risks not covered under the standard homeowners insurance policy, like if your diamond engagement ring falls down the drain while you’re washing dishes.
“Scheduled property” refers to property itemized on a homeowners policy, which serves as the basis for insurance payments in the event of a covered loss.
What Items Require Scheduled Personal Property Coverage?
While the standard homeowners insurance policy will provide coverage for your personal property up to a specific limit, certain big-ticket items carry limits not covered by homeowners insurance, including but not limited to:
- Coin and stamp collections
- Expensive electronics
- Musical instruments
- Sporting equipment, such as golf clubs
How to Insure Expensive Items
Standard homeowners insurance offers limited coverage, and your belongings may be more valuable than you realize. Follow these steps to start protecting your most valuable possessions:
- Keep a detailed inventory of your belongings, ideally using a cloud-based program that you can sync across multiple devices and access wherever you are.
- Take photos of your belongings, their serial numbers and store receipts, which serve as proof of an item’s retail value.
- Get items appraised by an expert. Photographs and receipts are helpful, but you can’t tell whether a diamond is real or fake from a picture. An appraisal is a document that verifies an item’s value, authenticity and that it was in your possession at the time of the appraisal. Your insurance agent should be able to put you in contact with an appraiser near you.
- Contact your insurance agent to have your items added to the list of your possessions on your homeowners policy. This helps to ensure that you’ll receive the appropriate value of an item if it’s ever lost, damaged or stolen.
- Store important documents in a safe deposit box. In addition to keeping copies of these documents in cloud-based storage, it’s smart to keep physical receipts, appraisals and photos too.
It’s also important to periodically have your items reappraised, as they may increase in value and require more coverage. Even if your existing homeowners insurance policy includes scheduled personal property coverage, your items could be underinsured if they haven’t been recently appraised—meaning they may not be fully covered in the event of a loss.
Protect Your Personal Valuables
Adding scheduled personal property coverage costs a few extra dollars per year, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run and give you peace of mind knowing that you’ll be fairly reimbursed should the unexpected happen.
Although adding scheduled personal property coverage can provide additional coverage, it may not insure every item of your personal property up to its value. Policy terms, conditions and restrictions may exclude or limit coverage for any loss.
Still, if you own anything you think is valuable that you’d hate to lose, you may want to contact your insurance agent. Meet with a Homegrown Pro in your neighborhood or call 1-800-499-3612 to discuss your options and determine whether adding scheduled personal property coverage to your homeowners insurance policy is right for you.
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