Updated: July 2016
If you have homeowners insurance, it likely includes some protection for your belongings if they are damaged by a covered peril (fire or theft, for instance). Personal property coverage typically comes with limits for both overall coverage — the maximum amount your policy may reimburse you after a covered loss — as well as sub-limits for certain high-value items.
For example, suppose your homeowners (or condo or renters) insurance policy includes $50,000 in personal property coverage. You may find that belongings such as expensive jewelry have more limited protection. For instance, you may find that a standard homeowners insurance policy provides up to $1,500 in coverage for jewelry.
That's where a rider may help. A rider — also referred to as scheduled personal property, a floater or an endorsement — is an optional add-on to a homeowners insurance policy. It provides additional coverage for the things you own that are worth more than the per-item limit of your policy.
Besides providing additional coverage for certain valuables, you may find that a rider helps protect those items from a greater number of risks.
To purchase a rider, you'll typically need to provide your insurance company with a recent receipt or a professional appraisal, the Insurance Information Institute says. You'll need to pay an insurance premium for each item covered by a rider.
When you inherit a valuable item, become a collector or you buy something like an engagement ring, it's a good idea to consider how your insurance policy may help protect it.
Think about items like:
- Expensive Cameras
- Musical instruments
- Fine art
- Stamp or coin collections
If you don't know how much coverage your policy provides for those types of items, read your policy or contact your agent. You may benefit from a rider if you find that certain belongings are worth more than your current coverage limits.
Still not sure if you need a rider for your valuables? A local agent can help you review your existing policy so you can decide whether additional protection makes sense for you.