In the majority of cases, a standard home insurance policy will cover your personal possessions against loss or damage as a result of several named perils. However, there are often cash limits to the amount of coverage offered, and those limits apply to both the total amount that can be claimed and how much individual items are covered for. If you have particularly expensive items in your home, such as antiques, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and designer furniture, you should seriously consider additional insurance coverage, and there are two main options available to you.
The Purchase of “Riders”
A rider – sometimes referred to as a “floater” or an “endorsement” – can be added onto your existing policy for an extra premium. This is ideal if you have very expensive items in your home that are worth significantly more than your policy’s maximum coverage level for individual items, which can be anything between $1,000 and $3,000. However, if you own several items that barely exceed your policy’s stated limits, you may need to consider some other options, as riders are typically designed for individual, high-value items.
The Purchase of Blanket Coverage
Let’s say you are an avid antiques collector, and you want to insure your prized collection for its true worth. Instead of purchasing several riders at considerable expense, it may be possible to buy blanket coverage for the category of antiques in general. This may also be a good idea if you like to collect wine and art or if you like to buy all the latest electronic gadgets.
Which Type of Insurance Is Best for You?
Insuring individual items through a series of floaters is usually far more expensive than the blanket coverage option, but there are some key benefits to consider. If you are forced to list or schedule your high-value items, you will need to have them individually appraised in order to discover their true value. This will help you avoid arguments with your insurer should you need to make a claim.
In any event, you will need to provide proof of your items’ market value, which will already be in place when you make a claim against a floater. If you choose the cheaper option of blanket coverage, you will need to provide that proof in the form of receipts and other official documents upon making the claim. Furthermore, the need to schedule individual items almost always means you can value them for their true worth, instead of the best guess often offered with blanket coverage. Riders often include “mysterious disappearance” coverage as well. So, if a precious stone were to fall out of your ring or necklace, the true cost of replacement would be covered.
If you want to insure a range of low and medium-value jewelry, artwork and collectibles, the blanket form of insurance may be the most cost-effective solution. However, if your items are particularly expensive – worth more than $10,000 each – a series of floaters may be the safest option.
If you have any questions or concerns about your own valuables and Joliet Homeowners Insurance, call Big Don Insurance at 708-957-7020, and we’ll be happy to guide you through your options.