Insuring specialty property

Your home insurance provides coverage for your contents (or personal property). Within that coverage amount, most home insurance policies actually impose specific limits on the amount of coverage for certain types of property; these are called “special limits” of coverage that cap the maximum payable in the amount of a loss. Please note, the information found in this article is specific to Canadian residents.

These “special limits” apply to various items, which commonly include:

  • Jewelry and furs: including engagement rings, bracelets, watches, fur coats, minks, etc.
  • Silverware: this usually refers to silverware above and beyond your basic, ordinary cutlery, including any flatware or table service made of silver or pewter, or any set that is ornate or valuable and not used for daily purposes, etc.
  • Sporting goods: including skis, tennis racquets, golf clubs and balls, snowshoes, etc.
  • Coin, stamp, and other collections
  • Computers and cell phones
  • Business property: including books, tools supplies and any other form of property that is used in connection with a source of income.
  • Watercraft: including kayaks, canoes, etc.
  • Cameras: including their accessories, lenses, tripods, filters, bags, batteries, chargers, memory cards, etc.
  • Bicycles: including their accessories, helmets, bike computers, tools, etc.
  • Landscaping equipment: including lawn mowers, garden and landscaping tools, etc.

You should always read your home insurance policy to determine what kinds of property are subject to special limits like these, and compare those limit to the property that you actually own. Often, you’ll need to increase these sublimits of coverage (for additional cost) in order to ensure that you’re fully protected for the current, replacement cost of all of your personal property.

Let’s use jewelry as an example. Traditionally, jewelry coverage is provided whether or not you need it, however, it will be subject to a limit. If the limit is $6,000, and you have several jewelry items totalling $20,000, in order to have sufficient coverage, you’ll need to provide appraisals for all the items. Once the appraisals are received, each item will be individually “scheduled” on your policy. If you fail to do this, the most your policy will pay is $6,000 – no matter what – leaving you thousands of dollars out of pocket.

At Square One, we only give you jewelry coverage if you want it. If you do have jewelry, we offer blanket coverage for the total amount you choose. Appraisals are not required, unless an individual item is valued over a specific limit. With Square One, you can choose exactly the amount of coverage that you need, eliminating unnecessary premium while ensuring that you don’t fall short in the event of a loss.

If you have any specialty property, discuss it with your insurance provider. For more information on specialty property coverage, or to get a quote on your home insurance, contact Square One at 1.855.331.6933.

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