I’m planning on doing all my holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving, which is commonly known as “Black Friday.” I will be leaving many gifts in my car while I shop the entire day. If someone breaks into my vehicle or worse, steals the vehicle with all the gifts in it, will I have coverage for the gifts?
Worrying at the Mall
Dear Worrying at the Mall,
As the famous Reggae singer, Bobby McFerrin sang, “Don’t worry, be happy.” As long as you have “Off Premises Theft Coverage” on your Homeowner’s or Renter’s policy, you are covered. In some states the coverage is automatic while in others you must purchase this coverage separately. Of course, don’t forget that your deductible will apply in this type of situation. Now, what I’ve said applies to most of us, but if your last name is Gates or Rockefeller, keep in mind that most policies have a limitation for jewelry, furs and fine arts. If this is you, I want to be your new BFF and my ring size is a 7 and my birthstone is a DIAMOND! If you are purchasing these types of items be sure to check with your agent to confirm how much coverage on valuable items you have for each classification.
With the holidays upon us and all those jewelry advertisements shouting at us day and night, I can’t help thinking about insuring all those new baubles, bangles and beads that will be found under our Chanukah lights and/or in our Christmas stockings this year.
I remember when my daughter became engaged. She, having no interest in jewelry and knowing nothing about diamonds, described it to me as one big circular stone with two smaller circular stones on each side. I, in turn, immediately thought about insurance. When I broached the subject with my son-in-law to be, he assured me that their tenant’s policy would take care of it should anything happen. Well, that actually might be true if the ring was a zircon rather than a diamond (and a beauty at that). While it is true that the typical homeowners/tenants policy does provide coverage for many types of jewelry loss, including theft, the coverage is very limited. As for theft coverage, often there is a cap per item or a blanket limit for all jewelry which is insufficient to cover such an expensive item. Statistics indicate that theft of a diamond ring is more apt to occur than a fire.
Other items, best insured individually, include furs, watches, and collections of various kinds to name just a few. Such items are usually scheduled on a “Floater Policy” with worldwide coverage, for a specifically stated amount determined by an appraisal.
If you are lucky enough to get engaged during this holiday season, congratulations! If not, and you just get a very expensive present, check to make sure that the item is insured for its full value.
Being an independent insurance agency, insurance is our business and here at Petschauer we are always here to answer questions posed by our clients.
Happy Holidays to all!
-Karen Skoler, CPCU