There are so many questions regarding coverage of specific items within your home in the event of a fire, burglary or other catastrophe. As you may know, your personal property coverage has limits for jewelry, furs, silver, firearms and cash. Homeowners policies usually will have replacement costs coverage for contents, but it is often limited to somewhere between $1,000- $5,000. If your items are “available” to be replaced after a loss, the insurance company would pay actual cash value or ACV until the items are replaced then the insurance companies will give you the difference. Contents are covered on premises up to the limits listed on your policy.
If certain items or collections lost are “not replaceable” like a rare antique or an expensive collector’s item Lego set, then you would ONLY get ACV unless you schedule the items. You can schedule anything on your homeowner’s policy but most people only bother doing this with the really expensive items. If an item is scheduled then it is covered no matter what happens to it on premises or off premises. Coverage off premises is what is important especially for jewelry. For antiques or LEGO sets, what is important is getting the replacement value without having to replace the item because it is no longer available to replace. In order to schedule something, insurance companies require a description of the item and a value. LEGO sets for instance would go under fine arts coverage.
The insurance company will charge an amount per hundred of value. For example jewelry is somewhere around $1.75 per $100 of value but furs are only $0.65 per $100 value. The rule of thumb is if you could go to the store and just buy a new one, there really isn’t a need to schedule the item because all items are given replacement value on your policy anyways. Only schedule big items that are irreplaceable like coin collections and of course other obvious items like a sentimental diamond engagement ring. As you add to a rare collection, you add to the schedule on your policy. The insurance company will want appraisals every five years for these items since the value changes all the time. Another thing to note is scheduling an item would cover it for mysterious disappearance too, i.e. if you have a party and your jewelry goes missing, you’re covered!
We hope this helps unravel one of the complicated areas of insurance coverage. If you have any specific questions about the coverage of personal items within your home, we would be happy to offer our expertise here at family-owned Barth Insurance in Milford, CT. You can always call us at 203-878-3181.