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How To Insure Your Valuables

  • admin
  • January 16, 2015 9:16 PM
  • 0 Comments

insuring_your_valuables

If our home is our castle then it must contain our treasures, or at least our treasured valuables. But as a population we tend to underestimate the value of our possessions in general, and some of us don’t think to value them at all.

The truth is that a standard home insurance policy is just that, standard. It is unlikely to go the extra mile when it comes to protecting the things that mean the most to you and these are the very things that you will miss the most if the worst was to happen.

With all the insurance terminology thrown around that we just don’t understand, the meaning of the word ‘valuables’ has become lost in translation and lots of us aren’t really sure what we’re supposed to cover. So what are valuables?

I think we can all agree that the art work passed down through the family tree is valuable, as is the jewellery that your grandmother left to you in her will. However below are a list of other valuables that you might not think to declare to your Insurer;

  • Any jewellery new or old
  • Electronic equipment (this would include televisions, computers, tablets, mobile phones, mp3 players etc)
  • Expensive furniture
  • Sports equipment such as golf clubs, tennis rackets and soccer / basketball memorabilia
  • Designer clothing / shoes / accessories
  • Glassware and fine china
  • Musical instruments
  • Collectible items

Quite simply, anything that is valuable to you is a valuable.

A standard home insurance policy will provide cover for your home’s contents (everything inside that isn’t nailed down) however it’s usually up to us to name the amount of coverage that we need and it’s at this point that we start to underestimate the value of our items.

We’ve all looked at an insurance quote and seen that for $2,000 worth of coverage the premium is much less than $5,000 worth of coverage and so we start to think, “Surely I could replace everything I need with $2,000, right? And I’m not going to get robbed anyway, right??” Wrong.

These days every room in the house has a flat screen television and each one could cost upwards of USD 500 to replace – that would bust through your entire contents insurance limit in one hit leaving all of your other valuables unprotected.

As a rule of thumb if something is valuable to you it is likely to be valuable to a thief. The aim of insuring your valuables is the ability for you to be able to replace anything that is stolen from you quickly using the funds paid out to you by your insurance company. For this reason it’s of paramount importance that you value your items correctly at the outset.

Before you buy your next home insurance policy make sure you make a list of all of your valuables and how much you think it would cost to replace each item. Whatever figure you come out with is the level of coverage you should be buying, anything less leaves you underinsured and overexposed.

So what next?

Firstly, know your policy. You will likely find that as well as having a cap on contents in general, your policy also limits the amount you can claim for any one item. This limit is regularly $1,000 but will differ from policy to policy.

If you have any items that exceed the ‘any one item maximum’ then you will need to declare it separately to your Insurer who will either provide the extra coverage under your standard policy for an addition premium or will tell you that you need to take out an additional policy.

Your options will include:

  • A floater policy – This typically covers big ticket items for theft, loss and breakage whether inside the house or not. Most will only cover one item per policy and so should really be limited to your most expensive valuables.
  • Valuable items coverage – This will cover items that your normal household policy wouldn’t cover and generally the monetary limits are much higher – typically the any one item maximum is a much healthier $10,000 and deductibles are often very low. You should be able to include all of your valuables in once place here and many will also cover your valuables whilst you are travelling worldwide.

Other things to be aware of:

  • Always keep the receipt for your valuables. In the event of a claim you are likely to be asked for proof of purchase and proof of purchase price. Without a valid receipt you may find it difficult to get your claim approved
  • Don’t over insure. A home contents, floater or valuable items policy will be an indemnity policy, meaning that it will seek to return you to the same financial position you enjoyed prior to your loss. Trying to claim more than the true value of your item is fraud and if caught could land you with a criminal record. At the very least you’ll be paying for a level of coverage that you’ll never actually be able to claim.
  • Shop around – loyalty no longer pays in personal lines insurance. At renewal, review your options to save money. It’s also a great opportunity to review your cover and so never allow an automatic renewal – it’s you who will lose out.

With this information you should now be able to fully protect your personal items for the right amount and give yourself the gift of peace of mind. Because whilst a good policy will cost good money, protecting your valuables is priceless.

 

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