Protection for the Finer Things in Life
Nothing says “I love you” like a sparkling diamond necklace or a designer watch. In the event of a loss, nothing causes more heartache than learning that you’re underinsured.
Most homeowners insurance policies have strict limits for valuables, like jewellery.
Some limits that we have seen recently are:
- $5,000 of jewellery
- $2,000 on firearms
- $2,500 on silverware
Fortunately, there are options available to provide for the coverage amount that meets your needs.
Learn more about how you can protect the finer things in life with insurance for your jewellery and other valuables.
Why do I need insurance for my valuables?
It’s true that standard homeowners, condominium, and renters insurance policies include a limited amount of coverage for jewellery and other valuable items.
However, many policies limit the dollar amount of coverage for the theft or loss, due to a covered peril of such items.
Generally, homeowners insurance policies vary with the limits the pay for total losses and even limits per item. For example, one insurer might limit you to $6,000 for the total loss and another insurer limits you to $4,000 per item.
To properly insure the value of a portrait or an heirloom stamp collection, consider purchasing additional coverage through a policy endorsement or floater.
Items that may require additional insurance coverage:
- Heirlooms (furniture, paintings, etc.)
- High-end bicycle or e-bike
- Musical instruments
- Fine art
- Antique china, crystal, decorative items
- Designer appliances
- Vintage wine
- Collectibles (stamps, coins, glassware, etc.)
Insurance Options for Jewellery and Other Valuables
Jewellery insurance coverage is available in addition to your home insurance—or other property insurance—through a policy endorsement or floater.
Valuables Insurance Endorsement
Endorsements are additions to your homeowners, condominium, or renters insurance policy, which change or add to the policy’s provisions.
The items of value are “scheduled” on a list that includes a brief description and the item’s dollar value. An appraisal or sales receipt is typically required.
The endorsement can cover property otherwise excluded from a basic homeowners insurance policy, extend the number of perils insured against, or increase the amount paid for a covered loss.
Endorsements typically have a lower deductible than your homeowners insurance policy.
Valuables Insurance Floaters
A separate valuables insurance floater may be used to schedule your valuable property subject to special limits under your basic homeowners coverage.
If you have an existing endorsement or floater, it’s important to periodically review your policy’s coverage limits to minimize the likelihood of underinsurance due to outdated appraisals and inadequate limits of insurance.
The Cost of Jewellery Insurance
The cost of insurance for jewellery and other valuables varies, but typically the fee is nominal.
Insurance carriers commonly have a set premium amount for each item.
For example, Travelers Insurance sets its rate for jewellery at $1.65 for every $100 of coverage. That means for $10,000 of coverage, you should expect to pay an annual premium of approximately $165.
The Importance of Appraisals
Many insurance providers require that all scheduled articles are appraised within the past 12 months of writing the policy.
In addition, the appraisal should be in the name of the policyholder.
Appraisals will help ensure that, in the event of a covered loss, the amount of insurance is enough to cover the repair, replacement, or cash payment of the item.
Safeguarding Your Valuables
You may have little or no time to protect your valuables in an emergency, like a fire or tornado. By taking simple steps now, you can safeguard your treasured belongings and information from damage or loss.
The first step is to identify what you have. Go through your home to find your treasures.
Use this checklist to begin taking stock of your valuables.
- Vital records and certificates (birth, marriage, divorce, adoption, child custody, death)
- Passport, driver’s licence, social insurance card, and other identification documents
- Property leases, deeds, mortgages, titles (auto, home) and other legal records
- Financial records, including recent tax returns, copies of pay stubs and bank account statements, and debit and credit card numbers
- Insurance policies
- Wills, living wills, and powers of attorney
- Medical records, including prescription medicines, medical conditions, medical provider contact information, and copies of health insurance cards
- Safe-deposit box information and keys
- Records of passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs)
- Family photos, keepsakes, jewellery, or other mementos
- Photographic or data inventory of valuables (collectibles, photos, videos, flash drive)
READ: Create an Effective Home Inventory
How to Protect Your Valuables
Once you complete your checklist, there are a number of simple no-cost or low-cost steps you can take to protect your valuables:
- Create a photographic record or inventory of your valuables and store it in a safe deposit box or other off-site location. Consider keeping a copy on a CD or flash drive in your disaster kit, so that you can provide it to your insurance company following a loss; this will allow you to start the insurance/recovery process more quickly.
- Scan important records such as vital records, medical records, and financial documents, and save the files on disks or flash drives. You may also want to password-protect the data you have stored in case of loss or theft. Store the backup records in a safe deposit box or other off-site location.
- If you have too many records or no way to scan/copy them, store them in a flood/fireproof home safe or a safe deposit box. Also, consider giving backup copies of important documentation to family members to store for you.
- If you have valuable items stored in a basement, move them to a higher location to avoid water damage.
- Include any readily accessible records, such as medical records and medical contact information, in your disaster kit.
- In some cases, you may be able to protect valuables in waterproof containers available in sporting goods or hardware stores. For smaller items, a flood/fireproof home safe may provide temporary protection.
- Take precautions to protect yourself from identity theft when you create backup systems to store critical information.
Minimizing Your Risks
Consider these precautions to minimize the risk of theft:
- Always keep doors and windows locked to your home and car
- Replace door locks periodically
- When out of town, make your home appear lived in
- Put valuable items (jewellery, electronics, collectibles) in your carry-on instead of your suitcase when travelling
- If you must remove jewellery when outside of the home, keep it in a secure place
- Store valuable items out of sight when you invite guests into your home
In addition to insuring your home, Scrivens is committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes.
If you would like more information on developing a family emergency plan or building an emergency supply kit, please contact us at (613) 236-9101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protect Your Valuables With Scrivens
Before a thief steals your antique coin collection or your diamond ring accidentally gets washed down the drain, call Scrivens to learn more about the affordable ways we can help you protect the things you value most.