Everything in your home that is not nailed down is called “personal property.” These things are a part of Personal Property Coverage (Coverage C) on your homeowners, condo, or renters policy. If there were to be a fire, theft, or weather-related damage, having this coverage will make it easier to recover the investment put into these items. Some of these items could include jewelry, furniture, a TV, watches, and more. Although a homeowner insurance policy might discuss personal property, make sure you know the limitations and restrictions of this coverage. Make sure your items are secured and fully covered. Here are five reasons why these items might not be fully covered.
You do not have an updated home inventory.
Standard homeowner insurance policies only cover personal property at a percentage of your dwelling coverage. For example, your home or dwelling may have $500,000 of coverage, and $250,000 for personal property, but is that going to be enough for all of your items and valuables? Be sure to have an inventory of every item to keep a record of the value and specific details like a model number. Add up the total value of your items and make sure it is less than the amount that is covered. If it would happen to be more than the amount specified on your homeowner insurance policy, contact your agent and get more coverage for your personal property.
Having Actual Cash Value coverage instead of Replacement Cost coverage
Let’s say that five years ago you purchased a brand new computer that was the top-of-the-line. The value of that computer today is worth a fraction of what you paid for it. What if the computer got stolen? Your homeowner insurance policy will likely cover it, but how much will you get? An Actual Cash Value Coverage will typically pay the depreciated value, but that is not going to be anywhere near what you paid for your computer. Needless to say, it will not be enough to buy a new top-of-the-line computer at the current prices. In order to get this amount of money, you would need to have Replacement Cost coverage. This type of coverage would typically pay the purchase price of a similar model of computer that is currently in the stores. To sum it up, Replacement Cost will give you back what you paid for the item while Actual Cash Value will give you what it is worth currently. If you want to get back what you paid for it, make sure you have Replacement Cost coverage on your homeowner insurance policy.
Certain items have a “policy sub-limit”
Property items like silver, furs, firearms, jewelry, and collectibles will not be covered by an Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost coverage policy if their value is above a certain point. If you have a $15,000 Rolex watch and Replacement Cost coverage, you might think you’re covered for the whole amount of the watch. The reality is, the watch is probably only covered up to 500 or 1,000 dollars. This is called a “policy sub-limit” and it varies for different item types, the state you live in, and also in homeowner insurance policies. Get in contact with your agent or give us a call to find out about Indiana’s policy on this limit.
Not scheduling high-value items
The Rolex watch mentioned above would be an item that you would want to “schedule.” This designates separate coverage for the item individually, since it is valued above the policy sub-limit. You can schedule as many items as you would like to offset your policy sub-limits, and it is easy to do. All you have to do is provide your homeowner insurance agent with a recent appraisal, and purchase that amount of coverage. Talk to your agent about special requirements.
Not having Special Personal Property Coverage
Many homeowner insurance policies will cover personal property under a fire, but what if you just lose an item? This is when you’ll need Special Personal Property Coverage. When you have this type of coverage, you are protected under a wider range of scenarios like losing your expensive watch or dropping your brand new TV. Talk to your homeowner insurance agent to see the full list of losses that are covered under this policy.
Make sure that all of your valuable goods and personal property are covered according to this list. For further questions regarding personal property or lost property, give us a call and talk to one of our homeowner insurance agents!
Information from this blog is from Safeco Insurance.