Your “standard” Homeowners policy should offer coverage for your Personal belongings. Typically this is referred to as Coverage C (Household Personal Property), and is roughly 70% of your Coverage A (Dwelling).
If you have a Home insured for $200k your Coverage C would be roughly $140k. Each Carrier varies on this percentage, and whatever they “include” is included in your rate/premium. In other words; if you increase your Coverage C it would cost you more, but if you decrease your Coverage C you might not see any savings. Again – these blog entries are 30k foot views of insurance, and your policy may differ by quite a bit!
Coverage C is your “stuff” that is inside your home. TV’s, clothes, furniture, dishes, toys, etc. If you turned your house upside down and shook it; everything that falls out is your Coverage C. Let’s assume that you have replacement cost coverage on your Coverage C. This means that if your 10 year old couch burns up, your insurance would buy you a brand new couch – assuming its like kind and quality – but new nonetheless. Couches, TV’s, clothes, etc. are easily replaced. Between you and your insurance company you can go out and find many examples of your item to replace it.
What about the items that are harder to replace? Art? Silverware? Antiques? Jewelry? Some of these items are unique, and have both a high dollar value and can be impossible to replace. If you have a one of a kind painting that is stolen from your house, and it cost you $5k at an art auction…how would you replace it? Let’s assume, for this example, that you cannot replace it. In the words of Leo McMeel, you would be “sh!t out of luck!”
Your homeowners policy has specific limitations on items like these, and you would either get nothing for them, or very little. However, there is a way to cover them!
Scheduled Personal Property (SPP)- this is a category of items that you can list on your Policy to essentially say – “Hey, I have this XYZ item that is worth a lot of money, and is very hard to replace.” You can “schedule” said item on your policy, pay a small additional premium for it, and get the coverage you want/need. The other big items of note here are that SPP coverage typically covers “mysterious disappearance” as a covered cause of loss, and sometimes carries a $0 deductible (or the ability to have a lower deductible than your Property Loss deductible).
Why is mysterious disappearance important? Without an item being scheduled on your policy you would have to have a theft. A policy report is typically required, and in a single moment you could pinpoint when the item was most likely stolen. Mysterious disappearance can be helpful when something goes missing. Maybe someone did take it, but you do not know when? Maybe you misplaced it, and it is gone forever? Handy cause of loss!
Types of valuables covered by scheduled personal property
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but represents the most common personal property items that usually can be scheduled for their full value. After checking the limits on your homeowners insurance policy, consider scheduling these items if they are over the limit:
- Certain electronics (laptop, media equipment, etc.)
- Collections (cards, coins, stamps, etc.)
- Fine art
- Medical devices
- Musical instruments
- Rugs and tapestries
- Silver or goldware
- Sporting equipment
Bottomline, it is best to consider scheduling a high-value item that is not fully covered under a standard homeowners policy.
We always tell people that if you have one of these items, and the value is over $2,500 then you need a receipt, appraisal, etc. in order to schedule them. While the coverage is awesome, the insurance company won’t just take your word for it that you had a priceless Steinway…”Is that a priceless Steinway?” “Not anymore…” for you Pink Panther fans out there.
Please reach out to us to discuss the limits, sub-limits, and items you could potentially be scheduling on your homeowners insurance policy. Have your appraisals handy, and your detailed list ready to go to make life easier on yourself – and us – and we can get you a quote to add this coverage to your policy.