There are insurance packages for just about everything out there these days. Ranging f]rom cars to homes, you can even take out insurance on your life. Necessarily, if it’s expensive, you can insure it.
Despite the sometimes lousy rap it gets, insurance is actually super helpful and incredibly vital. It all depends on circumstance, of course, but generally speaking, you can’t go wrong by having that extra bit of protection on your assets.
This is particularly true for things like your house, for example. A stray plug socket sparking could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, and without insurance, you could even end up out on the street as a result.
So needless to say, insurance can be a real-life saver, but what about on a smaller scale? True, taking out insurance on your home or yourself is not a small-scale endeavor. You are dealing with assets worth a lot of money, after all. However, you don’t have to be talking about lots of money to take out valuables insurance.
It’s a relatively new type of insurance, true, but there are several insurance companies popping up to offer the service. Even individual retailers who sell the goods in question often provide a form of valuables insurance.
What type of goods are we talking about, though? It can be just about anything and range in price from something as cheap as $50 dollars, to items at several thousand dollars. Things like jewelry, laptops, phones, video games, and more all fall under this umbrella, and we’re going to dive into each in more detail.
Jewelry Valuables Insurance
Jewelry is often some of the most expensive items that an individual owns. Of course, this depends on the person, as jewelry can range from a few dollars to literally millions, but we’re going to generalize and talk about the middle ground and assume you have some jewelry worth a few hundred dollars.
The big question is if you should insure your jewelry, and the answer depends on circumstance. Imagine the worst-case scenario: you come home from a holiday or a night out, or perhaps you’re on holiday and left your jewelry in the hotel room You come back, and it’s all gone. Every bracelet, ring, earring, and necklace is gone. The question to ask yourself is, if that were to happen to you, is there anything in particular you would be heartbroken to lose. If the answer is yes, then you need to give some thought to jewelry insurance.
The issue when it comes to this, though, is that a lot of a particular piece of jewelry’s value doesn’t come from the physical price, but rather from the sentiment, and you can’t ensure sentiment. You’re only going to get the cash value of the piece back, which is often minuscule compared to the hole that losing the piece leaves.
There is one thing to do before looking at jewelry policies, and that is to check your home insurance policy. Home insurance often comes with its own form of valuables insurance (more on that later), so there is a chance that your jewelry already has some kind of coverage. It’s not specific, though, so you may want to get coverage for your pieces all the same.
In that case, you want to look at getting scheduled jewelry insurance. This is an add-on to your existing policy that ensures the piece separately from everything else. It can get expensive if you’re insuring some super pricey pieces, so whether or not it’s worth it is up to you.
When it comes time to speak to an agent about insuring your jewelry, there are a few bits and pieces you want to bring with you. First is a receipt for the jewelry in question, if you have one. Heirloom pieces or engagement rings probably don’t have a receipt lying around anywhere, so it’s not essential, but it helps.
Second is an appraisal. Most times, an insurer isn’t even going to talk to you about insuring jewelry unless you have an appraisal, so make a point of going to a certified professional to get one. You also can’t use an appraisal you get at the same place where you bought the jewelry either, so keep that in mind.
Next, you’re going to want to get a certificate if you have a valuable gemstone in the piece. In particular, large gemstones and diamonds are going to need certification and grading, but it can’t hurt to have it for other gems as well.
Lastly, take some pictures of your jewelry and all the relevant documentation for your own records, just in case you end up needing them in the future.
With all that in hand, now it’s time to go to your insurance agent and start the negotiation process. Regardless of whether you’re insuring with a company that specializes in jewelry insurance or just a regular one, there are a few things you want to ask and find out.
You need to make sure that what kind of “loss” is covered, what the definition of that is, and that it’s all in writing. If the ring slips off your finger or falls down the drain, is it covered? Or in reality, does “loss” mean theft in the insurer’s eyes?
Make sure you’re clear on the compensation policy in the event that the jewelry is lost. Are you getting cash or a replacement, and how is the company valuing the piece. Is it based on the appraisal at the time of insuring or the value of the piece today?
Also, ask if the policy covers partial loss. Say, for example, the diamond falls out of your ring, and you lose it. Does the insurance policy cover that, too, or no because technically the ring hasn’t been lost?
Always be sure to ask as many questions as you feel is necessary, iron out all of the what-ifs, and that everything is in clear writing. That means no abstract terms or phrases, as your insurance company may try to get out of payment down the line claiming that your policy doesn’t cover it, all because the wording of the agreement wasn’t concrete.
That covers jewelry, but what about your other valuables, like laptops, PCs, phones, and so on?
Tech insurance, more commonly called gadget insurance, is a type of insurance that is entirely new to the market.
As technology has grown and evolved over the last few years, so too has the price of our gadgets. This is down both to the demand for technology increasing and the sophistication of the hardware and software involved. Either way, the result is that each of us has a home full of more expensive equipment.
Not only does that make it more likely that our tech is going to be targeted by thieves, but the complication of the devices means that there is more stuff that can go wrong with them. With that in mind, it might be a good idea to look into gadget insurance, especially if you have some of the newest, state of the art tech that is available on the market.
Before you go looking for a quote, like with everything else, you need to be sure that your device is worth insuring in the first place. Luckily for you, unlike jewelry, there is no real sentimental value when it comes to most gadgets and technology, so all you have to worry about is the market value of the items. Needless to say, this changes year to year, but base your calculations in the here and now. As you upgrade your devices year on, you can change your insurance to cover these new gadgets instead.
Once you decide you want to ensure your items, you need to look at your options. The process of getting gadget insurance is much more casual and more streamlined than the typical insurance process. Regardless of how much your gadgets cost, it is a relatively low cost and low risk type of insurance for companies, hence why it isn’t treated with the same level of severity.
The typical price of gadget insurance can be as low as eight dollars per month and comes with a wide range of coverage. This policy includes things like accidental damage, meaning if or, and let’s be honest, when your phone screen smashes, that damage is covered.
It also covers theft, so you don’t have to worry about that. Water damage is also included, so there are no worries about dropping your phone down the toilet. On top of that, it covers breakdowns, which means, if your phone just stops, then you’re safe and secured, as well as fraudulent calls.
There are a few caveats and exclusions to the typical gadget insurance policy, though. First is that any damage your item sustains within the first 14 days is not covered. Your gadget must be insured at least two weeks before you can claim for any damages.
Second is that your item must be less than 12 months old. The longer you have a piece of tech, the more likely it is to break, so much so that some people even speculate manufacturers program an internal timer into the phones that determines when it starts to slow down and eventually cease to be functional. So to counteract this, your insured devices must have been bought in the last year.
There is one exclusion that is specific to laptops, and that is breakdown coverage. It would seem that laptops have a higher rate of breakdowns than other gadgets, and given the level of rough and tumble that most laptops endure while on the go or in your school bag, it’s easy to see why. There is also no coverage for accidental damage due to wear and tear for any device.
Lastly, to claim for any damages, the total cost of the damage must exceed $75 dollars. So you can’t claim for a little scrape on the back of your phone or anything like that. If you’re unsure if the damage your item has received exceeds that threshold, bring it to a repair shop and ask for a quote.
One notable absence from all of this is loss coverage. People are always losing their phones, and sometimes they don’t find them again. So if you’re looking for loss coverage, then you’re going to have to shell out some additional funds. It isn’t much, though, starting at as little as one extra dollar per month for phones, and two dollars for laptops and tablets.
It’s a new insurance and a niche one, but for how little the price is, it’s at least worth a look, especially if you need your devices for work.
Homeowners Valuables Insurance
This is by far the most common type of valuables insurance, although it is a part of a larger insurance policy. You can get what is called home and contents insurance, or in other words, house insurance. This covers your home in the event of fire damage, theft, or any other world-ending catastrophe that may damage your house.
That’s the home part of the policy, but you can also add-on some contents coverage. We talked earlier about scheduled items on a home insurance policy, and we have to bring it up briefly here again. It varies from company to company, but most insurers have a threshold on the value of an item that can be covered under the general contents insurance policy. For some, it’s $3,000 dollars, and it’s higher or lower for others, but regardless, it means that any item you want insured over that value needs to be listed individually.
With that out of the way, contents insurance covers against the loss or damage of the general contents of your home. Things like jewelry, art, valuables, cash, and so on are all covered. Although, most insurers also have a cap on the amount that you can claim for, usually around the $15,000 dollar mark. So in the event of a fire that burns down your home, you can only claim for contents up to that amount.
The details and specifics of coverage under this policy are all determined when you’re negotiating your house insurance policy at large, so make sure that you cover all of your bases then; otherwise, you may have to fork out more money to cover individual items.
All Risk Insurance
All risks insurance is quite similar to gadget insurance in that it covers your valuable items that you use on a day to day basis. It is a policy that has wider coverage than standard contents insurance and is perfect for people who carry around laptops or cameras with them everywhere they go.
There are two types of all risk insurance, and the difference is, again, when it comes to listing individual items.
With the first type, you have to explicitly list the items that you want insured. There is no general coverage here, and you can only claim for damages that those specific items have received.
With unspecified all-risk insurance, you have a wider range of items covered but a cap on how much you can claim for. With this type of insurance, you select a total value that meets the requirements to include all the items you need, so long as no item is valued at more than $1,000 dollars. It is a wider and safer policy, but it can also cost you more, so you need to be careful with what policy you decide to go with.
Retailers Valuables Insurance
We talked about how you can get valuables insurance on low-value items at the start of the article. Things that are as little as $50 dollars, like video games and other cheaper gadgets, all fall under this category.
While it’s possible to get these insured under other various actual insurance policies, it is often much cheaper to go with a retailer guarantee, if you get offered one.
Not all stores offer them, but the likes of GameStop do. With this policy, you are covered for the damage to the item in question for a specific period of time that the store specifies before you agree to it. Often, this is between one and three years.
The coverage typically only includes accidental damage, so loss, theft, or non-accidental damage isn’t covered, so the coverage isn’t the best, but to counteract this, it is usually cheap.
Most retail assistants offer this to you at the point of purchase, and usually, it only costs something along the lines of an additional three dollars. Most people just say no and go about their business, and that’s fine, but there are times that it is worth getting.
If you have a boisterous pet or even a young child, for example, it might be worth getting your games or cheap gadgets insured under this option, just in case.
Sometimes this insurance even extends to the larger items you can get in these stores, like PCs and game consoles. In this case, it is definitely recommended that you go with some cheap coverage.
Insuring Your Valuables
There are a million and one ways to insure your valuables in this day and age. People own more valuables than ever, not even just in the form of things like jewelry and clothes, but even just from a technological standpoint.
That is why valuables insurance is so important. Most people just shrug it off as an unnecessary luxury insurance, but if you’re willing to insure an item worth $10,000 dollars, why wouldn’t you be willing to insure a collection of items that could potentially be worth way more than that?
It all comes down to the individual, of course, but you should give some serious thought to getting some valuables insurance, or at the very least, gadget insurance. It is going to save you both a healthy chunk of cash and a headache in the future.