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;
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:
Other things to be aware of:
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.