Updated: March 2017
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 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 an insurance rider may help. An insurance rider — also referred to as a floater or an endorsement — is an optional add-on to an insurance policy. A common type of rider is scheduled personal property coverage, which may provide additional coverage for things you own that are worth more than the per-item limit of your homeowners (or condo or renters) insurance policy — or, in some cases, provide protection for things that may not be covered at all by a standard policy.
Besides providing higher coverage limits (usually up to the appraised value) for certain valuables, you may find that a scheduled personal property rider helps protect those items from a greater number of risks.
To purchase scheduled personal property coverage, you'll typically need to provide your insurance company with a recent receipt or a professional appraisal, the Insurance Information Institute says. You'll typically need to separately schedule each item, like a piece of jewelry, or each item category, such as a coin collection.
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. You may benefit from a rider if you find that certain belongings are worth more than your current coverage limits.
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.
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.