Monday, December 21, 2009

Which New Christmas Gifts Need Special Insurance?

Which Christmas Presents Need Their Own Insurance?

T’was the day after Christmas, and Santa was good to you this year. He filled your stockings to the top and left you everything you wanted underneath the tree. But now that you’ve got it, how do you make sure it is repaired or replaced if something happens to it? Not everything Santa brings you is automatically covered by your home insurance. Make sure you know which Christmas presents need their own insurance to be protected!

1. Jewelry, Watches and Furs: Most insurance companies put a limit on high-priced jewelry and watches. Even with the best coverage, most jewelry items are only covered for up to $2,500 per item. If you find a $5,000 ring under the tree, it will only be 50% replaced unless you bump up the coverage. Make sure you turn in a receipt or appraisal to your insurance agent and have your new Rolex scheduled on the property. (Scheduled means it is specifically listed and insured). In addition to a per item limit, most home insurance also limits a payout for all jewelry – typically around $5,000 total. Again, make sure you list your more expensive pieces separately so they will not be included in the $5,000 limit.

2. Antiques, Collectibles and Art: Similar to jewelry, artwork and antiques are only covered up to a pre-set limit on your home insurance policy, usually between $1,000 and $2,500. That rookie baseball card you found in your stocking must be appraised and listed specifically on your policy in order for the normal limits not to apply.

3. Dirt bikes, ATVs, and snowmobiles: In general, anything that CAN have its own insurance policy MUST have its own insurance policy in order to be covered from a loss. Even though your new dirt bike is considered personal property, it is considered a motorized vehicle by your insurance company. If yours is stolen and you want a new one, make sure you splurge for the insurance policy to keep it covered.

4. Fire Arms: Most insurance policies will replace your guns if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen up to a maximum limit of around $1,000 - $2,500 depending on the policy. If you have a lot of guns, and your new Christmas toy put you over the policy limit, make sure you discuss the options with your local, professional agent. You can usually increase the policy limit for a very reasonable price (around $10 - $20 per year).

5. TVs, Video Game Systems and Blu Ray Players: Almost all electronics are automatically covered under your home insurance with no need to add extra coverage. Some companies impose limits on electronics, but it is pretty rare. One exception to this rule is computers. Although computers do have coverage provided under all home insurance policies, most WILL have a limit. The limit can vary widely from company to company, so make sure you check your specific limits

Home insurance is just like having one of Santa’s elves standing by to make you some new toys if yours get damaged or stolen. However, you must put insurance on those special new items in order for that elf to be on the job. If you don’t you’ll find yourself with a limit on what gets replaced, and only getting back ½ makes it pretty tough to have a happy new year.

(All policies have their own limits. Please check your personal policies for the exact limits on your policies or consult with your agent.)

By My Insurance Guys


No comments: