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Homeowner Insurance

Kessler Alair Insurance Services

Do I need special coverage for jewelry and other valuables?

A standard homeowners policy includes coverage for jewelry and other precious items such as watches and furs. These items are covered for losses caused by all the perils included in your policy such as fire, windstorm, theft and vandalism.

However, there are special limits of liability for certain items, meaning that the insurer will not pay more than the amount specified in the policy. One important limit is for the theft of jewelry. To keep coverage affordable because jewelry can be easily stolen, the standard policy has a relatively low limit of liability for theft, generally $1,500.

If you own valuable jewelry or other items that would be difficult to replace, there are two ways you can increase coverage: by raising the limit of liability or “scheduling” your individual pieces through the purchase of “floater” policies. Raising the limit of liability is the cheapest option; however, there may be a limit on the amount you can claim for the loss of any individual piece, say $2,000, when the overall limit is $5,000.

Scheduling each piece or item may cost more in premiums, but it offers broader protection because the floater covers losses of any type, including accidental losses—such as dropping your ring down the drain of the kitchen sink or leaving an expensive watch in a hotel room—that your homeowners insurance policy will not cover. Before purchasing a floater, the items covered must be professionally appraised. The cost of this service varies depending on where you live.

Courtesy of Insurance Information Institute

Jewelry is only one example of the types of valuables you may want to schedule on your policy. Items that should be considered for schedules are computers, musical instruments, and camera equipment among others. Each item will have to be listed, and should include receipts, appraisals, and serial numbers as requested by the carrier.

Carrier requirements may vary on the amount that needs to be appraised for special items. Make sure to ask your insurance specialist to advise you regarding your valuable items.