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Insurance - Head Matters


5.  Homeowner's and Renter's Insurance

b. Loss of personal property

Homeowner's insurance can protect your personal property both at and away from home, including furniture, silver, jewelry, boats and collectibles like art or baseball cards. If you get something stolen at a party away from your home, for example, your homeowners policy will cover it. There is a maximum that the company will pay out, though. So be sure you check your policy to see what the limits are for various items.

Valuable objects in your home should be appraised to find their replacement value and listed individually as ammendments to your policy—this type of ammendment is called a "rider." There usually is only a small additional charge, and the expense is well worth it because you will be fully reimbursed for each of these items in the event of loss or damage.

It's a good idea to buy replacement-cost coverage on the contents of your house, such as your furniture and electronics. That stereo system or computer you purchased for $2,000 a few years ago may be worth only about $250 today. If something happens, and you don't have replacement-cost coverage, you would get only $250 because that's what these items are worth now. A replacement-cost rider for contents is not a major additional cost and it's another one of those seemingly small insurance provisions that can really pay off if you ever have a loss.
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