This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All opinions are 100% mine.
Nationwide provided me with information regarding its In The Nation blog post.
It is a great read and very helpful in determining how to streamline your insurance to only pay for the insurance you need and not more than that. In fact, there are many items that some over-insure and others that some under-insure when it comes to your home insurance policy.
Take it from us as The Thrifty Couple, we have spent a lot of time looking at insurance and the true necessities because we simply do not want to overpay.
First off, let’s talk about the things that you may be overlooking. When we read the article from In The Nation, the first part of the article addressed a topic we hadn’t thought of before: What if your home is a storage spot for your adult children’s items or other property that you do not own, but stored in your home? This is especially important to consider if these items are high end, valuable, rare and so on. In case of an incident requiring a home insurance claim, do you really want to be dealing with your own lost possessions and then in addition be in a battle with your family on how those other damaged/lost valuables will be replaced? It is a very intriguing question especially in a day when there are so many families that either cohabitate or for homes that store multiple generations of items in their home.
The article then goes on to share what to insure and what you really don’t need to insure. All great information and a place where we want to add our two-cents.
First off, most home insurance policies do cover a certain percentage of your standard personal property (up to a certain dollar limit). But it is important to inventory and understand if this will be sufficient for your situation depending on the valuable items you might have in your home.
Things that may be worth insuring separately:
- High value jewelry, furs and weapons – Think especially of family heirlooms and wedding rings. Many people have inherited these valuables from loved ones. Are your valuables covered? Make sure!
- Pets – Even though pets aren’t property, but considered family members, if something were to happen to your pet due to a home incident, your pet can be insured to replace. This is especially important to consider for purebreds. They are not cheap.
- Cash/Silver/Gold – If you are someone that loves to store money, silver, gold or other highly valuable items in between the mattresses (perhaps not the best idea but a discussion for another day :)) then you will want to insure this stash, especially from theft!
- High-end Camera equipment
- Business equipment stored or used in your home. For example, in our day and age, many people work from home (even online from home). If you own a high end computer or computers and other equipment designated for work, is this insured? Your policy may not cover these extra business essentials. It is worth checking into!
- Other valuable items like antiques, original art – My Uncle had purchased some original Tiffany Glass Lamps at a garage sale for $10 each (not realizing what they were at the time). When he brought them home, a guest mentioned that they looked like original lamps. He had them appraised and found out they were worth $45,000 each! He immediately wrapped them in sheets and placed them in his bath tub and purchased an extra insurance policy on just these lamps until he could sell. Let’s just say he decided he could have different lamps in his living room, especially with 2-golden retrievers running around. But, until he could sell, he insured these lamps as his home insurance would not cover an individual item above $10k!
- Guests – They are obviously not an item, but in your home occasionally. That is a personal liability. Are you insured enough in case a guest in your home or on your property is injured? If not, this could cost you big time and you might want to consider a Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP), which is designed to help cover those liability claims that exceed the amount of your home owner’s policy. It is important to check on whether the limits on your home insurance policy are adequate and whether you’ll want to consider a PUP.
- Valuable items outside of your home but still on your property – Because these items are outside of your home they might be especially more vulnerable to theft or vandalism. Do you have an expensive riding lawn mower that was vandalized? What happens if your shed burns down? It might not be that big of a deal and your insurance can cover replacement (up to a certain limit), but what about any valuable items inside the shed? Those are the things you need to consider.
- Newly acquired high-end items – You may have gotten your policy a couple of years ago. Have you added anything new that should be considered in your policy? This is where we recommend participating in our 52-Week Take Back Your Finances Challenge every year because important considerations like this are dealt with annually during our challenge.
Now for our list of considerations on items that may not be so important to separately insure or that really can’t be insured:
- Individual items under a certain value – Even if you have items that could be categorized in the above list, unless they are very valuable, you probably don’t need a separate policy. It is important to check with your insurance to see what your value limit is either on individual items or as a collective whole if it was all lost. The value is going to depend on the insurance policy.
- Appliances and furniture (unless the furniture is high end or antique and high in value)
- Everyday jewelry, watches, etc.
- Smart phones and tablets
- Everyday computer and electronic equipment
- Bicycles or other sports equipment (unless you have a very expensive high end bicycle or equipment)
- Outdoor play equipment and everyday outdoor items – Honestly, unless you have a very nice riding lawn mower or ATV’s, you really don’t need to insure individual items that are commonly stored in a shed or outdoors like a trampoline, mower, snow blower, etc.
- Personal heirlooms – As valuable as you might consider pictures and other items, they simply have no value. There is a small chance under some policies that you can insure the replacement value of something like a scrapbook. For example, if you have a scrapbook, make a digital copy of it. Then if something were to happen to your home.