Cover Those Family Jewels With More Than Just Renters Insurance

By: Ryan Patterson
If you are a homeowneror a renteryou probably have either homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance that covers most of your valuables. But, consider that a lot of homeowner's insurance companies are dropping their customers at the slightest suggestion of a claim. Do you really have the coverage you need on your grandma's favorite cocktail ring? In the unfortunate event that something happens to it (picture the craziness of dropping it down the sink, having it fall into a vent, and so on), do you really want to have to file a police report and have that kind of accident be the one demerit on your claims history that boots you out of your homeowner's or renter's policy?

Besides, most homeowner's insurance policies cover the "cost" value of your valuables, not the actual amount your precious object would cost to replace. If your grandma was a famous actress, for example, your home contents insurance won't necessarily replace the sentimental or provenance value of the ring, but would cover the replacement cost of the stone. In other words, if you have something of extra, intangible value, it's really best to insure it separately from the other contents of your home.

First, before you do anything else, have that object appraised. Any collection, any piece of furniture, any jewelry, needs to be appraised. It doesn't cost that much, and is worthwhile for insurance coverage purposes. That way, regardless of the circumstances, your heart might break into fewer pieces if, and in whatever way, you lose that object. Also, do it again. The value of the appraised item is likely to shoot up over time, so you definitely want to be sure that your policy remains reflective of its true value.

Next, look into either a rider for your homeowners or renter's insurance that will cover your camera, mink coat, or baseball card collection, or a separate, personal articles policy (at some companies these are the same thing) that does the same. You can also get item-specific insurance, such as fine art insurance that covers damage to, or theft of, fine art, based on its market value (there's that appraisal again).

Now, once you have the home contents insurance policy in place, take care to exercise your right to make a claim against your insurance company in the appropriate way. For example, if your baseball card collection was damaged as part of a house fire, do you want to replace it separately from the other items that were damaged at the same time? Or do you want to roll it into the general claim you make to the insurer? Examine all policies carefully, before you get them, and figure out what your plan of action would be in either of these situations.
Home Insurance
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