January is well underway, and it seems like everyone is hard at work fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions (right?) and settling back into routine after the holidays. You’ve put the lights away and taken down the tree, but there’s one thing you might be forgetting to take care of when it comes to wrapping up the holiday season: insuring your valuables or any expensive gifts that may have been exchanged this holiday season.
Perhaps the kids received a new iMac from Santa – or maybe a sparkly bauble was left in someone special’s stocking? Was the gun lover of the house gifted an expensive firearm? Chapman Insurance strongly recommends insuring your valuables properly in case of emergency or loss.
First of all, the expensive gift items mentioned and more – TVs, iPads, four-wheelers, fine art, everyday jewelry – are all fodder for thieves. Your home might very well be a target, particularly if the big box in which the 60” LED TV arrived was recently deposited curbside.
But burglary alone is not the only reason to insure these valuables. In case of a fire, tornado, or flood (hurricane season is just around the corner), the last thing you want to worry about are your jewelry or electronics. Granted, particularly with custom art or family heirloom jewelry, the item itself cannot be physically replaced but at least recouping some of the financial value will help you rest easier following this loss.
Consider taking advantage of offered warranties or guarantees, but don’t mistake them for insurance. For example, some major chains offer limited guarantees on stone replacement or repairs. This is great as the store is in business and you comply with the terms of the guarantee agreement. But in case of loss or theft, it’s unlikely that the store will help you.
Be sure to insure your expensive purchases to value, not just what you paid. Doorbuster specials may enable you to get a remarkable price on an item, but if you only insure for the price paid, you may not be able to get that same deal if you have to replace it later. The value of precious metals and gemstones fluctuates, so getting an appraisal can help you and your agent determine the appropriate amount of insurance. (And, don’t hesitate to ask your jeweler to provide a free appraisal as a way to close the deal. It never hurts to ask, and the cost of an appraisal may be worth it to the jeweler to make the sale!)
Sidenote: It’s always a good idea after the holidays to conduct an annual inventory in your home. Take photos of valuable items, shoot a walk-through video of your home’s interior (store on your cloud server or an external hard drive), document model/serial numbers and record proof of the item’s value.
You may be thinking this is something you don’t have to worry about, because your homeowner’s insurance policy includes coverage for most of your belongings. However, most homeowner’s policies have limits on how much they’ll cover, especially in the case of theft.
It’s best to check with us at Chapman Insurance to discuss exactly what coverage your policy includes, and whether your valuables are at risk in the event of an loss. Send an email or give us a call today to discuss your options to protect your valuable treasures.