We’d like to assume that you were all quite good this year, and were showered with presents at Hanukkah and Christmas. What did the holidays bring you? Perhaps you received new sporting gear, like skis, a snowboard, a stand-up paddle board or a road bike. Maybe you splurged on that ATV you always wanted, or bought a new diving watch to go with the lessons your wife gave you?
Did you buy your lovely wife some jewelry, perhaps a set of diamond earrings from Tiffany & Co. to match the tennis bracelet you bought her last year? A jacuzzi for the back yard? New golf clubs so that you both can play together?
And the kids probably got new iPads, an X-Box and maybe a laptop. Or they could be more outdoorsy types, and got a motorized skateboard, a surfboard or a dirtbike?
Any way you look at it, it certainly seems you’ve all been good this year! Sounds like there’s a lot of fun to be had in 2013. So let us give you a timely tip: Make sure it’s all covered.
If you’re under the impression that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will automatically cover these new items that showed up under your roof, you could be in for a very nasty surprise. You could be drastically underinsured, and we don’t want you to find out the hard way.
Yes, your homeowner’s and renter’s insurance should fully cover fine jewelry and watches, but just for theft. What if those diamond earrings fall off in the gym shower? What if the watch falls off during the first real dive? Those aren’t instances of theft, just loss, and those are not covered.
But how much do they cover? Usually, policies only pay out a maximum of $1,000 for jewelry theft. That’s right, just $1,000—and that will barely cover those earrings, let alone that fancy diver’s watch from Tag Heuer. Renter’s insurance? That’s even worse. They must assume that if you don’t own a home, you don’t have nice things, because the insurance companies will only pay out a maximum of $500 for theft. And remember, if these items are lost or damaged, that’s not covered at all.
And fire? If you lose everything in a fire, you want to make sure that all of your expensive items are detailed in your insurance policy, otherwise you may not be reimbursed for the full amount. A watch isn’t a Rolex unless you can prove it…
If you want to test your current agent, here’s the questions to ask him or her:
- Can I purchase additional coverage for my family’s jewelry and expensive watches?
- Is there a deductible? If so, how much is it and how does raising or lowering the deductible affect my policy costs?
- Is an appraisal required prior to obtaining insurance? Are there only certain types of appraisers whose reports are accepted?
- Are the items covered no matter where the loss, theft or damage takes place? Would the policy cover me for a loss that occurs during domestic or international travel?
- Are items covered for full replacement cost? Must I replace the item, or can I obtain a cash settlement?
- Does the policy cover repairs to damaged jewelry?
We deal with insurance companies all the time for our clients and we know how hard it can be when they find out they’re underinsured. As if losing their home and precious memories wasn’t enough, the insurance problems can be part of a continuing nightmare.
So call your insurance company today and update your policy, be it homeowner’s or renter’s, and make sure all of your new gifts are covered. And while you’re at it, take an inventory of what else is in your house and garage, and make sure all the big-ticket items in there are covered too.
Hopefully you’ve been careful this holiday season and have avoided any fires. But if you do have one, please call us immediately after the emergency services so we can get started getting your life back to normal. (877) 732-8471