Your home is filled with items that hold both sentimental and monetary value. From treasured family photos to a favorite chair, these are the items that make your house a home. But did you know that not everything of value is covered by your regular homeowner’s insurance policy?
While many items are, there are certain valuables that may require additional insurance coverage, sometimes in the form of a rider or floater. To make sure you’re insured for all the things that matter most, it’s vital to look over your insurance policy carefully with your financial advisor or insurance agent and take any necessary measures to close the gap in coverage.
What Is Typically Covered Under a Homeowner’s Policy?
A standard policy covers, in general, damage to your home and belongings. There are usually coverage limits in place for the items in your home. These personal property coverage limits will vary per policy, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider to find out what those limits are.
Normal items in your home that aren’t particularly high-end or expensive (think those that can be easily replaced) will likely be covered.
Some examples could include:
- Regular electronics
- Office supplies
- Holiday decorations
Items You Might Need Additional Coverage For
For belongings that are considered rare or expensive, you may need to purchase a floater or endorsement. An endorsement is a type of rider that comes with an additional cost, but will provide you with extended insurance coverage on items that are worth a considerable amount of money.
Some of these items could include:
- Antique or expensive furniture
- High-end electronics
- Fine jewelry
- Sterling silver
- Art collections
- Certain family heirlooms
Conducting a Home Inventory
It’s important to take the time now to conduct a home inventory of all your personal belongings. This can prove to be tremendously helpful, and sometimes even necessary, in the event that anything is damaged or stolen.
To create your home inventory, start by dividing all of your items into three separate categories:
Items that aren’t worth insuring
Items that will be covered by your regular homeowner’s policy.
Valuables that will need additional insurance coverage.
It’s important to know the estimated value of very expensive items, and you may need to hire an appraiser who is licensed to document the cost of things like jewelry, antiques or art collections.
Don’t try to estimate the cost of these items yourself with general appraisal sites online, as these won’t hold any weight with your insurance company in proving the actual value.
How to Document Your Valuables
There are three common methods you can use to document your valuables. In most cases, it’s helpful to have all three on hand to help ensure that you’ll be reimbursed correctly and in a timely manner by your insurance company.
Method #1: Video
Take a video of all your belongings while you verbally go over what everything is and the estimated value of each item. Don’t forget to include items that may be stored in your garage or basement.
Method #2: Photos
You’ll want to be sure to take photos of every item of value. Print them out and write down what the item is and its estimated value on the back of each photo.
Method #3: Purchasing Information
Finally, make a list and document the serial and model numbers of items. This is easy to create in a spreadsheet to give directly to your insurance agent. If you have receipts for high-end items, hang on to those as well by scanning them and keeping them in a backed-up computer file.
Store all hard copies of the documentation in a fireproof safe or keep them in a safety deposit box away from your property at a bank. For things that can be stored online, such as scanned receipts, there are home documentation software apps available which will help you keep track of your belongings.
Being prepared with the right insurance in place is key. In the event that damage, or theft occurs, being prepared will make a difficult situation much more manageable. With adequate coverage in place and an extensive home inventory, you’ll get the money you need to cover those losses if and when they happen.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.