Insuring Personal Belongings

Personal Belongings Insurance

Even the most minimalist of homeowners will probably find that they begin to collect a wide range of possessions over time. Whether they have an extensive jewelry collection, an array of shoes to rival those of a movie star, or guns owned by generations of family hunters,insuring personal belongings is very important. It may come down to items’ economic value, or perhaps, their sentimental value, but with the right policy, homeowners can insure most any item they own. With the help of an independent home insurance agent, they can find out how to buy sufficient coverage.

Most homeowners’ insurance policies can cover the cost of replacing personal belongings if they are stolen, lost, or destroyed in a natural disaster. A typical standard policy can cover the cost of the contents of a home up to 50 percent of the value of the structure of the home. This means that if a homeowner determines that her home is worth $150,000, then she could have up to $75,000 worth of insurance coverage for her personal belongings. A home insurance policy may also offer off-premise coverage, meaning that if a homeowner’s belongings are stolen while she is on a family vacation, she may be able to get reimbursed by her insurer for the value of any lost items.

It is important to know what is covered under a home insurance policy, so, to make sure that coverage is adequate, people should take the time to make a list of all of their possessions, known as a home inventory. It is also a good idea to take photographs of all belongings, especially those that are valuable, or one-of-a-kind assets, and put those photos in a safe place. Having a home inventory, along with pictures, can make the claims process easier.

For insuring personal belongings, homeowners should understand the difference between actual cost and replacement cost coverage. With actual cash value, they should remember that property generally loses value over time because of its use. So, if a person bought a stove for $600 ten years ago, then the cost to replace it today for its actual cash value after ten years of use would be much less. Alternately, with replacement cost coverage, the owner of that stove would get the same $600 value, no matter how old the appliance, because there is no depreciation taken into account. Depending on the insurance company, replacement cost coverage is usually available with a home insurance policy, but at an additional cost.

There are some items that may not be covered as personal property under a homeowners’ insurance policy. Items not eligible for replacement cost might include antiques, or other rare objects, because they are not replaceable, and not easily appraised when damaged or destroyed. Outdated items that are obsolete, or not in working condition, may also be excluded from personal property coverage. An independent home insurance agent can discuss this in greater detail.

In some cases, certain belongings may need to be identified separately, making it important to have a list of personal possessions. Jewelry and other valuable items may have a limited value in the event of a claim, unless otherwise provided in a policy. For many, this includes engagement rings, which are generally more expensive than any other jewelry owned. This is why homeowners should make sure to have wedding and engagement rings, and other jewelry and expensive items, appraised and specifically identified to make sure full replacement cost can be available through their insurer in the event of a claim.

To make sure that personal belongings are protected, it is important to speak with a local independent insurance agent. An independent home insurance agent will be able to help assess the value of personal assets, and can point people in the direction of buying the appropriate homeowners’ insurance coverage for their belongings.

Other Enhanced Insurance articles related to Home Insurance Personal Belongings:

How Much Is Personal Property Worth in the Event of a Total Home Loss

Bicycle Insurance

Jewelry Insurance

How Can I Estimate the Cost of Replacing My Belongings?

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