When Do You Need a Homeowners Insurance Rider?

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008
Homeowners Insurance

A rider is a separate mini-policy or clause that extends your homeowners policy to cover the extra value of items that may be excluded under contents insurance. Your homeowners policy may not cover the cost of particular expensive items like luxury watches, fine art or electronics equipment, for instance, or may limit reimbursement to an amount far below the actual value of those items. You may need an insurance rider if you own:

Your homeowner policy will cover jewelry under personal items, but the amount you can claim per item may be far below the actual value of any fine jewelry pieces that you have. Jewelry may be the most commonly covered type of item under riders. A jewelry rider will typically cover particular pieces, and will pay out even if you lose the item outside your home. Coverage will cost about $1.50 per $100 of coverage.

Electronics Equipment
These days, the most valuable items that many people own are their electronics. Your HD plasma TV, your high-end computer, your video game consoles and your home theater and stereo equipment may not be covered for their full value under your standard homeowner's policy. If you have a home office and count on those things to enable you to work, it's especially important to have them covered in a separate rider. Your coverage may be limited to $1,000 for all office equipment, which might not even replace your computer. A rider extending coverage to $10,000 would cost about $100 a year.

A Home Office
In addition to the equipment in your home office, though, you may need separate liability coverage if you do business out of your home. If a client is injured in your home while there on business, your homeowner policy may not cover the injuries and loss. You may also find that inventory that you keep in your home, if you do direct sales, for example, is not covered, nor is the replacement of office supplies and crafting materials kept on premises for business purposes. You can get in-home business coverage for about $300 a year in most states. That coverage will provide liability protection in case a customer or client is injured in your home, as well as increasing the coverage for office and business equipment.

Oriental Carpets
If a pipe bursts and your Oriental carpet is damaged, you may not be eligible for reimbursement at all, or your reimbursement may be limited to no more than $5,000 for one run or $10,000 total. An Oriental rug rider will cost about $1 per $100 of coverage, and will cover the carpets in case of theft and most kinds of damage.

Art or Antiques

You may insure art or antique furniture by the piece, or with a special rider that increases your home's contents coverage. Insurance coverage for fine art pieces is surprisingly inexpensive - usually about 25 cents per $100 in coverage. In addition, any pieces covered in a separate rider won't count against your overall contents coverage.

An Older Home
If you own an older home, your insurance coverage may not cover the cost of rebuilding it to meet new code requirements. Laws change over the years, and if your home needs to be rebuilt after a fire or other disaster, you may need to build a sturdier foundation, or include safety items that your older home didn't have. Most policies only cover the cost of replacing your home exactly as it was originally built. Code coverage will cover the additional cost of building your home to meet new laws and ordinances.

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