There are things in life you know you need insurance for – your home, your car, and your health, for example. But there are probably other items where you’ve wondered, “Do I need insurance for that?”
If you have homeowners insurance, many of your possessions are already covered to some extent, but even so, the short answer is that you probably do have valuables that need additional coverage through personal property insurance.
Recent studies have found that at least 59 percent of homeowners have homeowners insurance policies but don’t have an up-to-date inventory of their possessions. Document your valuables and then make sure they’re all covered under your existing policy. Here are a few worth considering additional coverage for:
Jewelry such as engagement rings or family heirlooms may already be partially protected under your homeowners or renters coverage, but you’ll need to make sure the full value is covered by having the item(s) appraised. If the appraised value is higher than what’s allowed in your policy, consider additional coverage.
Confirming that your computer, laptop, and tablet are protected is especially important if you’re self-employed. Anything you use for your own business likely won’t fall under the umbrella of your homeowners' insurance and instead needs to be covered as an asset of your business.
As devices have become a larger part of our lives, many important things live on them. While some insurance providers include it in existing coverage, it might be worth looking into additional or different coverage that covers the true value of the device.
Whether it’s musical instruments or an expensive set of golf clubs, you want to make sure the items that help you enjoy your favorite pastimes are protected. The key, again, is to make sure their value doesn’t exceed what’s covered by your existing insurance.
Just as with jewelry, make sure your art is appraised and fully covered under your homeowners policy, and purchase additional coverage if it isn’t.
Tools of the trade.
Does your work require you to purchase special tools that you keep at home? If so, confirm that your current policy covers them, and consider extra coverage if not.
You’ve probably at least considered health insurance for your pet at one time or another. But did you know pet insurance can also cover liability? It’s definitely worth some research – especially if your homeowners policy doesn’t cover your pet’s breed.
Is it really worth the money?
When it comes to purchasing personal property insurance (also sometimes referred to as an extended warranty, consumer protection or service plan), it can be hard to know if it’s worth it. Consumer advocates like Consumer Reports tend to not recommend them. But just as with insurance, there are many factors to consider, such as:
- The plan’s cost versus the cost to repair or replace the item.
- Whether repairs are already covered under a warranty from the manufacturer.
- How long the item is likely to work versus the length of time it’s covered by the plan.
- Whether the credit card you purchased the item with may already be protecting you.
- Whether the item is already covered by your homeowners' insurance.
- State laws around warranties. (Many states mandate an “implied warranty of merchantability,” that essentially requires the items work properly for a reasonable amount of time – typically a maximum of four years.)
So, if you are considering personal property insurance, it’s definitely worth doing some digging to understand your rights and what may already be covered first.