Many policies restrict coverage

Question from Stanley G. from Fishers: My wife’s jewelry box was stolen, and we didn’t find out until the claim was filed that there was a set limit on how much she could claim in stolen jewelry. This limit was not adequate to replace what she lost. Is this common?


Response from Jamie Ianigro: I hate to hear that about your claim. Unfortunately, that situation is very common. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy automatically restricts coverage on a variety of different types of property. It’s also common to see people have inadequate personal property limits.

You can avoid these problems by meeting face-to-face with your independent insurance agent to create a scheduled personal property endorsement and adding it your home policy. The schedule can include anything you want to include, but many of the items below are typical. You have automatic coverage for newly acquired property, but be sure to update your schedule to include any new property within 30 days.

Some of the common property classes excluded or limited by your policy:

• Jewelry, watches, furs and precious or semiprecious stones – The typical limit is $1,500. Schedule these items.

• Musical instruments, cameras, silverware, golf equipment, fine art – These items are not usually limited but can eat up your personal property limit very quickly. Schedule these items.

• Cash, bank notes, coins, precious metals that are not jewelry – The policy limit on these items is typically around $200. Keep this stuff in the bank or a safe deposit box.

• Securities, evidences of debt, letters of credit, manuscripts, personal records, passports, tickets and stamps (including computer software) – The limit for this property class is typically around $1,500. The limit includes the cost to research, replace or restore information from the lost or damaged materials.

• Watercraft of any kind, including their trailers, equipment and motors – You should have a separate policy for a boat, but your home policy typically sets aside $1,500 if you don’t.

• Property of roomers, boarders and other tenants – This type of property is excluded. They need a Renter’s Insurance Policy.

This list is not comprehensive, so please make sure you meet with your independent agent to discuss any additional concerns you may have.