You’ve likely entertained this thought experiment: “what would I save if my house were on fire?” Many of us have a sentimental answer to the question, including anything from family photographs to the stuffed animal a grandparent gave us before they died. In addition, you might think about some of your more expensive items: an instrument, fancy camera equipment, or an engagement ring. In today’s blog, we compare two distinct methods of Homeowners insurance protection: scheduled vs. unscheduled personal property coverage and how each can help protect your most valuable possessions.
Unscheduled personal property includes any personal belongings that are covered under your standard personal property coverage but have not been specifically itemized on the policy. When it comes to unscheduled personal property, many insurance companies have an overall limit to coverage, as well as sub-limits for different types of property. You might, for example, have a $1,500 limit for jewelry coverage, which may or may not cover the total amount of jewelry you own.
Scheduled personal property includes any personal belongings that have been added explicitly to your insurance policy. This optional add-on coverage can protect big ticket items like jewelry, art, cameras, electronics, firearms, and musical instruments from a greater number of risks. To add a specific endorsement to your coverage, you’ll likely need to provide a complete description, a receipt, an appraisal, photos, and anything else that proves ownership of the item.
While many people rely on unscheduled personal property coverage, there are certain benefits to scheduling your belongings, especially if you own expensive items that exceed the limits or sub-limits on your policy.
Choosing the standard personal property coverage is perhaps the most convenient option. When dealing with unscheduled personal property, you don’t necessarily have to do the legwork of scheduling specific items, which means you won’t have to track down receipts and appraisals for all of the items you’re trying to cover. That said, it’s still in your best interest to create a thorough home inventory. An investment of your time before a loss will save you hours of heartache and frustration after a loss when you are trying to build an inventory of your belongings.
If you do decide to stick with your standard personal property coverage, make sure you understand the total limit for each type of item and the limits for an individual item, as well as what types of loss and damage that are covered.
While adding a specific extension to your coverage in the form of scheduled personal property means you won’t be beholden to the typical limits and sub-limits of Renters and Homeowners insurance policies, it does require some legwork on your end. However, collecting receipts, organizing appraisals, and tailoring your insurance coverage often means broader coverage, not just in terms of the amount of coverage, but in the types of risks that are covered. If, for example, you accidently drop your engagement ring down the drain, that would not be covered by standard policies but would be covered under many scheduled personal property policies.
In addition to the extra effort involved in scheduling personal property, doing so will often raise your premium. While this is a deterrent for many people, the reality is that better coverage is more expensive.
Contact an independent agent to learn more about your Grange Insurance Association coverage options. In the meantime, check out our insurance blog, where we cover topics ranging from what you need to know about loss of use coverage to holiday home safety tips.
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