Posted : 01/01/2011
Yes, homeowners insurance covers personal belongings, but there are limits on certain items, such as jewelry, fine art, antiques and other valuables.
Many policies limit coverage for valuables to $1,000 to $2,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). So if you're lucky enough to own an original masterpiece or an expensive piece of jewelry, you need to buy additional insurance to provide full coverage.
You can do this by purchasing an endorsement or a "floater" (which covers movable property) for a particular item to cover its full value. Floaters and endorsements have no deductibles and often provide broader coverage. Purchasing additional insurance for valuables is known as "scheduling" the items.
Check your insurance policy to see how much coverage it provides for valuables. Then, talk to your agent about whether you need to buy additional protection through an endorsement or floater. To get the proper amount of coverage, you'll need to have the item professionally appraised. Reimbursement if the item is stolen, lost or damaged will depend on the appraisal amount.
Prices of floaters or endorsements depend on the value of the item, where you'll store it, where you live and the company that provides coverage.
If you haven't already conducted a full inventory of all your belongings, now is a good time to do so. You can download free online software from the III's KnowYourStuff.org website. Having a record of everything you own helps ensure you have enough insurance coverage and helps the claims process go smoothly.
For more, see Insuring your wedding or engagement ring.
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