Homeowners Insurance: Scheduling Property

Ever wondered what would happen if you lost an expensive piece of jewelry or if someone broke into your home and stole your valuable items? More than likely, you would look to your homeowner's insurance to cover this loss. While most homeowner's insurance contracts cover risks such as fire, wind and lightning, they often exclude many events that end up creating a serious financial loss - such as losing a diamond ring. Events like this, often called "mysterious disappearance" , are not normally covered under a typical homeowners policy. In order to cover these rare situations, you will need a special endorsement called a personal article floater, to be added to your homeowners policy.

Talk to your agent if you feel you own any valuables that could be exposed to this risk. Remember, most homeowner's policies have a separate limit in cases of theft for certain types of property such as jewelry, firearms, furs, etc. So if someone breaks into your home and steals $20,000 worth of jewelry, the most your unendorsed homeowner's policy is going to cover you for is the maximum of that special limit e.g. between $1000 - $2500.

Before scheduling the items on your policy, gather any appraisals, photos, receipts and other documents to substantiate the value of the items. Sure, it sounds like a lot of work but proving the value of your property is extremely important when filing a claim. This would also be a good time to write up a home inventory of items you own which is also helpful when filing any future claims.

Another thing to remember, most insurance companies will ask for a police report when filing a claim on personal articles. Even in cases of mysterious disappearance, you may have to file a police report before any claims are processed. This is one of the many hurdles that consumers deal with when having to report a personal articles loss. Be sure to talk to your agent for guidance, they are there to assist you!