As the holidays approach, information about getting insurance for
holiday gifts is available from your professional, independent insurance agent.
Homeowners and renters insurance can be designed to include sufficient coverage for
valuable items like jewelry and fine arts that may be purchased or received as gifts over the
holidays. Even though most of us check our insurance coverage after a major purchase like a
home or car, it is a good idea to check your insurance any time significant purchases are made.
Contents coverage is the part of the typical homeowners insurance policy that protects against
loss to personal property. The amounts of coverage vary depending on the policy that a
homeowner chooses and the items they chose to cover. Special coverage limitations exist for
items like jewelry, furs and watercraft. The amounts vary by company and may not be enough to
cover the total value of these items. Extra coverage called personal property “floaters” can be
purchased to overcome the special limits and expand the covered causes of loss. Most insurance
companies will require a homeowner to have the items appraised to determine their current value.
While fine arts generally do not have a special limitation in the policy, an appraisal still may be
needed to substantiate their value.
To make sure your items are protected adequately:
• Contact your insurance agent immediately. Let your agent know if you acquire an
expensive piece of jewelry or other property subject to the policy’s special limits. In fact,
any property item having an unusual value should be given extra attention.
• Have the item(s) appraised. It is important to have the expensive items appraised
properly and to keep the appraisals current. If you purchase a floater or endorsement, your
premium will be based on this amount. In the event of a claim, payment will make up to
this dollar amount.
• Take a picture of the item or items and add them to your home inventory. Keep
copies of any receipts. You may need to forward a copy to your insurer. Keep a copy of
your insurance policy and the inventory of your home in a safe deposit box—preferably in
a secondary location such as an office or relatives home if possible.
It’s important to know what you have, what it’s worth and to have the proper insurance
coverage to protect it. Your professional, independent insurance agent is your best resource to
help you determine this.