Imagine pulling into your driveway after a long weekend trip out of town, and your front door is ajar. The house is dark and cold. You enter and find broken glass and empty spaces where your artwork, television or computer once were.
Unfortunately, scenarios like this happen to unsuspecting people frequently. In 2016, there were a reported 7.9 million property crimes, 71.2 percent of which involved theft and 19.1 percent included burglary (which just refers to any instance where someone unlawfully enters a structure, regardless of whether they take anything). The total reported cost of property crime, including motor vehicle theft, but excluding arson, was $15.6 billion.
Homeowners Insurance Protects Most Items
You can’t predict if or when someone might attempt to steal your possessions, but you can anticipate it and take measures to reduce your risk of loss.
Purchasing a homeowners insurance policy is one smart way to protect your financial standing in the event of a major loss or damage. Accidental misfortunes, such as if a person drops a valuable item overboard on a boating trip, are also covered by homeowners insurance policies. However, an insurance policy it isn’t a fool-proof method to protect against all losses. While homeowners insurance will help you financially recover from the loss of, say, your computer, clothing or furniture, there are limitations.
Insure Your Priceless Valuables With an Extended Policy
If you have priceless valuables, it’s important to make sure your insurance actually covers them. To find out, look for the section describing special coverage limits. This will tell you a maximum dollar amount covered by your policy. If your items would cost more than this amount to replace, talk to your agent about a special personal property floater or an endorsement.
Endorsements are additions to your existing homeowners insurance policy. It may be a little bit more expensive, but it’ll boost your coverage to protect your most valuable possessions. Another option would be to purchase an umbrella insurance policy, which has broader coverage limits.
Endorsements or umbrella policies typically cover high-end jewelry (including engagement rings), artwork, furs, designer clothing, or fine china or cutlery. However, there are other items that may require a special annex or endorsement; if your policy has a lower coverage limit for electronics, for example, you may consider adding your laptop to this policy extension.
Get a Unique Policy for Your Classic Cars
If your most valuable possession is an antique car, you’ll need yet another form of insurance. Classic and antique vehicles are insured for the agreed value, which is generally determined by an appraiser, The Balance explained. Keep in mind that the agreed value is much different than the “actual cash value” or the “stated value.” These policies have special requirements, including how to store and use the car, and how many miles you can put on it.