Insuring Your Valued Possessions

Insuring Your Jewelry, Furs, Silver, & Antiques
You are probably not aware that most Homeowners policies contain special limits on the amount of coverage for items such as jewelry, furs, antiques, silverware, collectibles, guns, etc.? These limits often include a $1,500 maximum for any one theft claim on jewelry, watches or furs, or a maximum of $10,000 for the theft of silverware or guns. Since the average value of an engagement ring now approaches $5,000, you could find yourself seriously underinsured in the event of a loss. Few things can be more unsettling when it comes to insurance than the feeling you have not received the full value of your damaged or stolen property after a loss. This is especially true when the loss involves those kinds of personal possessions whose values are difficult to assess or can change over a long period of time. A silver service for example may be worth significantly less than its original purchase price due to a drop in the market price of silver.

How can a Scheduled Property Endorsement (or Floater) help to properly insure this type of property?
A "schedule" is simply a way of specifically listing valuable items on your homeowners, condominium or tenants policy. The "schedule" includes a brief description of each item and its dollar value. For certain items of property such fine arts or high valued jewelry, a professional appraisal of the item or a copy of the sales receipt is sometimes required. This helps assure the amount of insurance listed on the schedule accurately reflects its current value. You're then sure that in the event of a covered loss, the amount of your insurance is enough to fully cover repair, replacement or cash payment of the item. The insured is responsible for making sure the values on the schedule are updated regularly.

What other benefits does a schedule provide?
There are other advantages to insuring personal property on a scheduled basis. First, scheduled property is not subject to the policy deductible. Second, coverage for the scheduled property is actually broader than the "Named Perils" such as fire, theft, and vandalism provided under your basic policy. This broadening would include most types of accidental damage to the scheduled property which you might not normally consider. For example, a Schedule would provide coverage for repairs to a ring where a diamond has fallen out of its setting, or an antique table top damaged by water leaking from a flower vase.

How much would this added coverage cost?
The cost of this valuable coverage is quite affordable and depends upon the item being scheduled, such as fine arts, jewelry, furs, silverware, musical instruments or cameras. If you think you may have personal items to schedule, check with your agent. They can explain "scheduling" in more detail, and discuss with you whether or not it is to your advantage to "schedule" any of your valuables.