We all know life can be full of surprises. That being said, most of us would agree it would be risky and ill-advised to skip auto, home, and life insurance. These are all things we don’t think twice about insuring. But, what about large collections of art, antiques, or jewelry? Family heirlooms, a coin collection, or that nice set of china? These things may not immediately come to mind when you think of the word “insurance,” but properly insuring your collection of unique valuables is essential in order to protect them in the event they are lost, stolen, or damaged. Need help getting started?
Check out these three must-dos to protect your valuables.
1. Get Your Valuable Items Appraised
It’s important to have your valuables appraised at least every two to three years, as the value of materials fluctuates over time. For example, the price of gold isn’t what it was in the 1980s. Some collectibles also become more valuable over time. If appraisals aren't routinely performed on your value items, how will you truly know what they are worth? And, better yet, how will the insurance company know how much to pay you should something happen to these items?
Always request a written statement of completed appraisals. It will help determine how much coverage should be purchased and document the appropriate value if you have to make any claims in the future. Starting off with an appraisal will help you determine if your value-on-hand exceeds the limitation of your standard homeowner’s policy. See next step.
2. Review Your Homeowners Policy
Major damage is usually covered when caused by losses such as fires or tornadoes. Standard homeowners insurance policies protect against liabilities, damage to your home, and select personal belongings. However, typical homeowners policies only allow a certain amount of coverage for items such as jewelry, silverware, furs, collectibles, antiques, and fine arts. If appropriate, as deemed by your appraisal from Step 1, seek out an additional policy to insure the overage value (as determined by the difference in your standard homeowners policy and your appraisal), minimizing your exposure if a loss happens.
Related reading: Homeowners Insurance: Replacement Cost Value and Actual Cash Value Explained
3. Consult an Insurance Agent
Once you've reviewed your homeowners insurance and have determined the need for additional coverage on your valuables, the next step is to consult with a knowledgeable insurer who is familiar with insurance coverage for your type of valuables. A knowledgeable agent will share coverage options to determine what works best for your situation. Often times, they'll review scheduled versus blanket coverage. Everyone's situation is different, but when you work closely with an insurance agent, he/she can point you in the right direction to find a solution that meets your budgetary concerns, while maintaining peace of mind that your valuables are protected.
Nobody likes the thought of losing their valuables, especially those that cannot be replaced. Households who have collected a number of items passed down from generation to generation are highly encouraged to seek adequate coverage.