Would you be surprised to know that your engagement ring might not be fully covered under your current insurance policy? It's true. Most insurance policies have limits for expensive items. If your limit for jewelry is set at $1,000 and your engagement ring costs $4,000, you can only expect $1,000 from your insurance policy, no matter what.
How can I protect my more expensive items?
There are two main ways you can increase your protection for expensive items. One is by raising the overall limit on your policy. If your current homeowner's policy has a limit of $1,500 for jewelry but you know you have at least $3,500 worth of jewelry, you might raise this limit to $4 or 5,000 to be sure you're fully covered. Your second option is to schedule items on your policy.
What does scheduling an item mean and how does this work?
Also known as an endorsement or a rider, scheduled items have additional protection. To schedule items on your policy, you must contact your insurance agent and typically you must provide either a receipt or appraisal for the items you wish to schedule. Unlike unscheduled items, which are covered by your insurance policy but are subject to limits, if your items are scheduled, they will be covered without these limits. Keep copies of serial numbers, receipts, and appraisals and consider getting items reappraised, as their value changes over time.
Scheduling items also provide broader protection. For example, scheduled items could be covered by your insurance even if you are the liable party. For example, if you drop that expensive but scheduled engagement ring down the sink, the right insurance will reimburse you, even though the mistake may have been your own. Typically, you won't even have to pay a deductible for scheduled items.
Another advantage to scheduling something is that most policies will pay for the replacement cost of the item. This means you can expect a payment for what it costs to replace your item with a comparable item and you don't have to worry about deprecation.
Should I raise the limits on my policy or schedule items?
Whether you should raise the limits on your policy or schedule items depends on a few factors. It may be more affordable to raise the limits on your policy, but keep in mind that you may only be able to raise them to a certain amount. If you can raise your limits and comfortably cover all of your items, then there may be no need to schedule items to your policy. That said, if you're looking for broader protection or you have reached the ceiling on how much your limits can be raised, you should consider scheduling these items.
What isn't covered by scheduling an item?
What is and what is not covered by scheduling an item depends on the exact policy. Typically, normal wear and tear of items is not covered. Ask your agent about exclusions.
What items should I consider scheduling?
Jewelry and artwork are two of the most common examples of items you may need to purchase additional insurance for, but if you have any expensive collections, such as a coin or stamp collection, you may also want to increase your limits or schedule these items. Firearms, antiques, cameras, sports equipment, expensive electronics, and any other high-value items where their loss would exceed your policy limit is worth considering. Your insurance agent should be able to provide more examples and guide you.
How can I schedule items if I am not a homeowner?
Scheduling items isn't only for homeowners. If you're currently renting, you can still schedule items in addition to your renter's insurance policy. Contact our office if you have any questions and we'll make sure we find the right option for you.
The bottom line is that scheduling items can be a smart move if you're looking for broader coverage or are worried about your limits. If you're happy with the types of events currently covered by your policy but own items of a higher value within a category, such as artwork or collectibles, than is currently covered by your policy, you raising your limits is a smart idea. You should review the limits specified in your policy, take an inventory of the items in your home, and then decide if you're happy with your coverage. Contact us with any questions, to discuss raising your limits, or to schedule additional items.