What to Know About Insuring Your New Holiday Gifts

What to Know About Insuring Your New Holiday GiftsWe hope you had a wonderful holiday! It’s likely that you and your family now have a variety of exciting new gifts to enjoy. However, before you get too comfortable with your new gifts, it’s important to understand how to keep them protected for years to come.

Some holiday gifts will be covered under your standard home or renters insurance policy, even if they’re stolen from your car, but standard policies typically have coverage caps on certain types of valuable items, so it pays to think ahead if you’re buying a pricey present or in possession of a gorgeous new item.

When is Extra Insurance Needed?

Consider two factors for extra gift coverage: the type of item and the cost. Since most home and renters policies cap coverage on certain types of valuables, you might need extra coverage if you’re buying a gift that fits into one of these categories and is worth more than the amount of the cap. 

Every policy is different, but coverage commonly is capped on art, cameras, jewelry, furs, firearms, musical instruments, collections, and even rare books. For instance, a typical cap for jewelry is about $1,500. Other types of expensive gifts, like new furniture or stereo equipment, might not be capped in your policy. 

For a diamond necklace worth more than the cap in your policy, you can boost your valuable items coverage, get a rider for the item, or “schedule” an item on your home insurance, meaning you get it appraised and add coverage to your policy specifically for that item.

Coverage Tips

Steps to make sure your gifts are properly insured:

  • Call before the purchase. If you have home or renters insurance, contact your insurer as soon as you find the perfect that perfect gift and ask if it requires additional coverage.
  • Get an appraisal immediately. If you’re “scheduling” an item on your home insurance, you’ll need an appraisal. Try to get it appraised before you make the purchase.
  • Use plastic for your purchase. If possible, make a purchase with a credit card that offers purchase protection, a type of insurance that will fix or replace an item that’s damaged or stolen within a certain time frame after purchase (usually 90 days). Check with your credit card company to see if it’s offered and get the specifics.
  • Mailing a gift? Get insurance. Are you sending a fancy new phone or music player across the country? Make sure you insure the parcel through the U.S. Postal Service, or another carrier, such as UPS or FedEx.

Jewelry, Collectibles & Vehicles 

Contemporary art, heirlooms or jewelry may gain value over time. For these items, a rider can pay the increased value if the gift is stolen or damaged. Some policies may require periodic appraisal. Store photos of each item and a copy of the appraisal in a safe place and add them to your home inventory.

For expensive jewelry, secure storage and how often you wear it can affect your policy. For instance, items worn daily carry more risk due to more exposure to loss or damage. 

For vehicles as a gift, the person driving it off the lot will need coverage to leave the dealership. If you already have coverage, you may have a grace period to add the car to your policy. If you share an auto insurance policy with the person receiving the new gift, the process can be easy. Simply add the car to your shared policy and transfer the title. 

Add any expensive or sizable gifts to your home inventory. Include as many details as you can, take photos of each item and take videos of rooms in your house.  

About Barnes Insurance Agency

At Barnes Insurance Agency, we specialize in vacation home rental insurance to ensure the protection of your property and assets. We strive to offer customizable solutions to meet your specific needs. For more information, contact us today at (877) 279-2500.

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