In one fell swoop the Pendergrass’ had their property burglarized while they were out of town for their eldest son’s wedding. Amongst the items reported missing, the only item that held any significance for Mrs. Pendergrass was her grandmother’s pearls. She kept the pearls, a family heirloom, in a safe tucked neatly behind some old sweaters on a top shelf in her closet and now it was gone. Being an item that was passed down from generation to generation, the sentimental value would far outlast any dollar amount.
Other items reported missing were Mr. Pendergrass’ company computer, (luckily the contents were backed-up and the documents encrypted) and a few guitars. However, the ultimate tragedy was the prized tour bike he owned which was also stolen.
The Pendergrass family sought recovery under the Homeowners Insurance policy, thinking like many that all items in the home are covered in case of theft. They were disappointed to find out that these important items were not scheduled on to their Homeowners Insurance policy and the compensation they received was minimal compared to the amount of the loss.
This happens all the time and remarkably, many agents and brokers still do not advise their clients correctly or disclose this information. That is, certain high value personal property must be either specifically scheduled onto homeowner policies or insured separately on a Personal Article Floater policy. These items include but are not limited to jewelry, cash, fine arts, firearms, technology and related equipment, memorabilia and most other items that have high intrinsic values. Almost all standard homeowner policies will have specific wording either excluding coverage for these items completely or limiting liability to specific sub-limits of insurance. For protection, insureds must schedule specific items or arrange for a separate policy for their valuable items.
For example, when Linda went on a jet-skiing trip with her fiancé last June she lost her engagement ring after hours in the water. Fortunately, Linda knew the appreciation value of jewelry and scheduled the ring on her Homeowners policy and she was able to recover the value of the ring and pay for a replacement.
So when does one schedule items and when does one apply for a separate policy? What are the pros and cons associated with both and how does coverage compare? These are the questions that we answer and discuss with our clients at Meslee Insurance Services, Inc.
Do you have a priceless collection of coins or stamps? How about gold bullion or a precious piece of jewelry? Video equipment? How about an art collection?
Don’t fall under the misconception that these items are covered under their Homeowners Insurance policies. In reality, that is almost never the case. Get in touch with our office today to review your policy and make sure you are properly covered. One day you may have a theft claim and chances are that thieves will be after the specific items that you do not have coverage on.
For over 25 years, Meslee Insurance Services, Inc. and sub-division Jewelry Specialty Insurance Services have served as a leading source for custom homeowner policies and Personal Article Floater policies. Our proficiency and knowledge of jewelry and fine arts puts us in a unique position to understand the intricacies of high value personal items. Contact us today for more information or to obtain an application.
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