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I have a collection, is it covered under my home insurance?

Home Insurance

By Viola Wallace | August 28, 2018

Valuable collections are not automatically covered up to their value under homeowner’s insurance policies. If you have unique items in your home whether collected over a lifetime or inherited from a family member they may not be adequately protected. These may include rare stamps coins baseball cards comic books or medal collections. It could also include fur coats rare and original works of art silverware and jewelry.

While homeowner’s insurance covers the contents in your home they usually provide only limited coverage for certain categories of your personal belongings. Valuable items like art and jewelry typically fall under a category with a “special limits��? restriction which limits the maximum amount you can claim  for such items. If you have an item or several items that are valued abovethe limits outlined in your policy that may mean they’re not fully covered. For example most home insurance policies cover jewelry watches and furs up to a combined limit of about $6 000. In the event of loss you would not get anything more than $6 000 for this category of personal belongings even if your jewelry alone was worth $25 000.

There is good news however as most insurance providers will allow you to increase the limit and add additional coverage for these specialty items. That way they can be covered for a higher amount than your ordinary policy would allow. They can also be covered for perils not normally covered under your standard homeowner’s policy. For example many standard homeowner’s policies include a “mysterious disappearance exclusion clause ��? which means that if the cause of the disappearance or loss cannot be identified you will not receive any payment. However if you have additional coverage for specialty items that covers such an event you wouldn’t have the bear the cost of such a loss.

So how do I protect my valuable collection under my home insurance?

Talk to your brokerabout adding a Personal Articles Floater to your policy. This will protect individual items or collections. Some companies will have endorsements (or add-ons) designed for specific items or collections such as bikes sports memorabilia coin or stamp collections furs art and jewelry.

Your high-value items will first need to be appraised before they are covered. This can often be done at a professional jeweler’s and you should submit this appraisal when applying for additional coverage. As the value of your collection tends to appreciate over time especially jewelry you should have an appraisal done every three to five years to ensure your coverage reflects their proper value. You can find out more aboutappraisals for insurance here.

Don’t forget that your loss settlement option will affect the payout you can receive for your valuable items in the event of loss. Items insured for replacement cost (RC) will be compensated at the total cost of replacing them while items insured for actual cash value (ACV) will be compensated at the current value of your item at its current market price minus depreciation (meaning that you may receive less than the actual cost of replacing the item). For high value items replacement cost is usually the better option when possible.

Wrapping your head around all these variables may be quite difficult which is why it is best towork with a knowledgeable insurance brokerwho will guide you in purchasing a policy that’s appropriate and adequate for your high value possessions.

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