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If you have a tenant’s policy or a homeowners insurance policy, you’re probably aware that most of your personal property within the four walls of your home is covered up the limit shown on the policy that you received. Since most people see a very large number next to their personal property, that usually automatically assume that they have plenty of coverage and that is something unfortunate were to happen and they lost everything, that they’d be able to collect all of the money from that limit and that every single item they own could be replaced with no questions asked.
However, this isn’t the case. Most insured individuals have heard of having itemized coverage, but most of them think, “If I have such a large amount of coverage on my policy, why would I need to itemize anything I own on the policy?.
However, you should have extended protection for personal property that is considered a ‘special belonging,’ or one that is worth a high value. Some of these items include things such as jewelry, expensive tools, watches, coin collections and other valuable collections, musical instruments, computers, cameras, and even more. The reason why is because most policies place a set amount on how much each of these items will be covered up to, so getting a policy that has just a high limit also includes separate ‘itemized amounts’ as well. For example, you may see on your policy that cameras are only covered up to $3,000 on your policy, meaning that if you ever experienced a loss and yet you own $5,000 worth of equipment, you would only get $3,000 to replace these items. Since most of these items extend past what limits are pre-determined by your insurer, it’s a very wise idea to itemize the pieces, especially in various states where some amounts on property like this are only covered up to $500, which isn’t a lot at all if you have a valuable item or collection of items.
Itemizing coverage is basically when you take a specific item or items and broaden the amount of coverage that a typical property policy automatically comes with. There are many items that have specific amounts attached to them, and reviewing your policy will let you know what these amounts are, which vary from state to state and company to company.
Itemizing your property will greatly broaden what your policy covers, and is definitely worth the extra bit of time you may have to put into it. Broadening your coverage gets your policy to the point that most any kind of loss or damage for the particular scheduled item is completely covered under the policy unless it has a specific exclusion attached, such as there not being any coverage for normal wear and tear.
Whenever you itemize belongings, you may have to furnish proof of what you paid for it, as well as an appraisal . Many insurance companies typically want to get all of the documentation they can before they itemize certain belongings. For instance, you own a French violin from the early 1800’s that’s in perfect condition, and it’s worth $2000 but your policy only pays up to $1000 for musical equipment and you wanted more coverage, most insurers will ask that you get the item appraised by a professional so they can see the appraised value, and then often the insurers will adjust the limit up to that amount.
To figure out which items you should itemize or schedule, go through your personal property and make sure to note any especially valuable items that you have which exceed the limits initially set forth on your policy, and then talk to your agent about increasing these amounts. There’s another benefit to itemizing valuable items as well: sometimes if you experience a loss of a scheduled item, and if you don’t have deductible, then the insurance company may not end up counting the loss as a claim against you, saving you a potential raise in premium.
It’s a good idea to keep a detailed account of your personal items anyway, so it’s a perfect opportunity to not only do that, but to make sure that you’ve got coverage for the items that you’ve worked so hard for, taken such great care of, and that deserve to have that extra bit of attention.