Does homeowners insurance protect my fine art or jewelry?

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Asked August 26, 2013

1 Answer

One of the four primary coverages in homeowners insurance is personal property insurance. The other three primary coverages are dwelling insurance to cover the home, other structures coverage for buildings and other objects built on the property, and loss of use coverage to reimburse you for out of pocket expenses related to being unable to use the property in the accustomed manner.

Where your personal property is concerned, it is going to be important to document your property carefully. The easiest and most accurate method for this is to make a video home inventory by going from room to room with a video recorder and itemizing everything you own. This is a big list, because your personal property includes everything in the home and on the property which is yours. From jewelry and fine art to your wardrobe, and from your appliances to your children's swing set, be sure to get everything, and include a legible recording of the receipts, if you have them available.

Once you have made a home inventory, you may be surprised to discover that the value of your personal property exceeds the personal property limits of the policy. This is because that portion of the policy only covers you to a percentage of the policy value, and the average family has more than the limit even before expensive property such as fine art and jewelry. If necessary, increase the amount of your personal property coverage, or purchase a rider policy.

By and large, the best option for expensive property is always to insure it separately. This eliminates the worry that you will run up against limits, have to make painful choices between what to replace and what to give up for lost, or spend a lot of money out of pocket in addition to the policy settlement. Insuring expensive items separately also makes it easier to trade or sell items without having to recreate your entire home inventory.

Answered August 26, 2013 by Anonymous

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