Alert! Time for a New Years’ Audit of your Personal Belongings Coverage.
One of the toughest parts of the job here at Scarr Insurance is hearing the sad stories of individuals who’ve been caught with too little coverage. One very common way this happens is when people assume their off-the-shelf homeowner’s policy provides complete coverage for their personal belongings.
For many people, this is close enough to true. But if you’ve experienced a great deal of success or made wise investments in things like collectibles, antiques, or fine art, it’s very likely that a standard homeowner’s policy is inadequate. Policies have limits on both the total value covered, and on the value covered for any single item. A common liability limit is $1,500 per item, which, if you’re talking about diamonds and masterpieces, isn’t much at all.
If you haven’t assessed your coverage levels in a few years, we implore you – take a few moments to do it now. It can start with a quick check – just think about the value of your belongings, then call your insurance company to find out your maximum coverage levels. If they don’t broadly match up, it’s time to get more detailed. This can be especially important if your standard of living has changed faster than your insurance policy.
If you’re unsure of the value of items that may have appreciated – which can be the case with anything from cars to wine – do yourself a favor and call an appraiser. Their work will not only help you make the right decision on coverage, it will be important in making any future insurance claims.
If you then decide you might need more coverage, it’s time to sit down with an experienced agent to work on getting the right coverage set up. This can be done in several ways, including simply increasing the general coverage levels of your policy.
However, what’s usually best is to actually itemize your high-value items. This sort of list is what’s known as a scheduled rider, and in many cases it can offer better coverage, and at lower cost, than an umbrella policy. For this route, you should enlist the help of an insurance professional. Scarr Insurance specializes in this sort of personal policy, so if you need a hand, please give us a call today.
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