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Homeowners Insurance: When Do You Need Separate Coverage?

By Compuquotes Team on April 8th, 2008

Homeowners Insurance

Your homeowners contents insurance is meant to insure you against loss of your belongings in case of theft, fire or other catastrophe. Are your belongings fully covered though? Chances are, if you're a typical homeowner, the answer to that is a resounding no. In order to be certain you can replace all of your most important and most valuable belongings, you may need to resort to an insurance rider or separate cover. When should you consider separate cover or a rider to increase coverage for specific belongings?

  • When the maximum benefit for one item is less than the value of any item

Many policies list the maximum amount that the policy will pay out for all items together as well as the maximum payout for any one item. That single item payout is often far lower than the value of many objects in your home. Check the maximum single item payout, and make a listing of items in your home that could not be replaced for that amount.

  • Electronic equipment often is not fully covered under most policies.

Home entertainment equipment, high def televisions, stereo equipment and other home electronics are often not covered fully under most insurance policies. Most insurance companies offer extended coverage for those items under separate cover. It may not be necessary, however, if you carry separate insurance on your equipment.

  • Cameras and mobile phones are often not covered by your homeowner insurance.

Items that are often carried with you outside the home may only be covered if loss or damage happens to them inside the home, and they may not be fully covered for replacement cost even then. Check your homeowner policy to see if they are insured against damage or loss outside the home, or if you're covered by an extended insurance policy from the mobile service or manufacturer for loss or damage.

  • If you run a business from your home.

If you run a business from your home, your business equipment and inventory may not be covered by your homeowner insurance policy. It's important that you check with your insurer to find out what coverage you have if you also use your home for business use.

  • Computers should be insured separately.

Computers are among those items that may not be fully covered - or covered at all for damage or loss under your homeowner policy. Check with your insurer to find out the level of coverage you can expect. Some insurers offer special insurance for your computer that may even include data recovery if your computer is damaged during a covered incident. This could be invaluable, especially if you use your home computer for business purposes.

  • Bicycles and other recreational equipment

Bicycles and other recreational equipment like ski equipment may not be fully covered under a standard homeowner policy. Any item that is valuable and easily portable may be best under a separate rider or with extended coverage.

  • Jewelry and other collections

Jewelry and collectibles should always be insured separately on your homeowner policy. Most will not pay out the full value of items like collectible coins, jewelry, collectible stamps and other collectibles.

  • Hobby and craft equipment

An avid hobbyist can easily collect equipment and materials for their hobbies that run into the hundreds and thousands of dollars. Cameras, woodworking equipment, sewing machines - even collections of paper for scrap-booking and fabrics for sewing can add up to big dollars if you have to replace them all at once. Consider a separate rider if the value of any one piece of hobby equipment exceeds the maximum single item payout on your homeowner policy.

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