Are you planning on gifting (or getting) jewelry anytime soon? Maybe you inherited your father’s old pocket watch or firearm. Or, maybe you just splurged on an expensive painting or sculpture to decorate your new place.

If you own any type of valuable item that is difficult to replace, you might want to consider adding an insurance enhancement to your homeowners, renters or condo insurance policy.

What is an enhancement or endorsement?

An endorsement, sometimes called a rider or floater, is an amendment or add-on to a homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policy. For the additional cost of an endorsement, you would typically be covered for items that might not be covered under your standard homeowner’s policy.

Doesn’t my homeowners insurance already cover my jewelry and expensive items?

Some standard homeowners policies include coverage for jewelry, watches and furs in the event they are damaged by fire or a windstorm or if they are vandalized or stolen. But according to the Insurance Information Institute, the policy may only provide limited coverage amounts for certain items based on their value and cause of loss. In order to increase coverage for things like jewelry and other valuable items, it’s recommended you purchase an enhancement.

Under the Valuable Possessions Coverage endorsement with MAPFRE, which can be added to any policy, you would be covered for items like:

  • Jewelry (individually owned articles of personal adornment composed at least partially of silver, gold, platinum or other precious metals or alloys)
  • Furs (furs and garments trimmed with fur)
  • Fine arts (includes paintings, etchings, pictures, tapestries or other bona fide works of art of rarity, historical value or artistic merit)
  • Silverware (silver-plated ware, goldware, gold-plated ware and pewterware except for jewelry, watches, coins and medal)
  • Cameras (includes carrying cases, films, lenses, filters, light meters, tripods, etc.)
  • Musical instruments (includes sheet music, stands, carrying cases, and straps used in connection with musical instruments)
  • Guns (firearms, scopes and miscellaneous property such as ammunition, clips, tripods, carrying cases, and straps used in connection with firearms)

For the items listed above, no deductible would apply, but there are maximum limits (for both individual items and aggregate amount for any one loss) and other specifics which your independent agent can discuss with you.

What kinds of things wouldn’t be covered if I purchased an enhancement?

Here are a few things not covered by an enhancement:

  • Loss or damage caused by wear and tear, gradual deterioration, or inherent vice
  • Loss or damage caused by insects or vermin
  • Loss or damage to articles separately described and specifically insured under this policy or any other insurance
  • Loss or damage to bullion or ingots of gold, silver, or other precious metals, or unmounted gems
  • Loss or damage to property used in a profession or business, or arising out of the business pursuits of any insured, except incidental business use
  • Loss or damage which is expected or intended by the insured

What do I do if I want to add an enhancement to my policy?

The first thing you should do is document the items you want to insure. Make a list of the items (including serial numbers if they have them) and take pictures. Next, have the items appraised and get documentation from the appraiser. Last, contact us so we can work with you to add Valuable Possessions Coverage to your policy.