It’s been said many times, many ways: change is the only real constant in our world.
That point has been driven home in recent days as we’ve been attacked by the novel coronavirus, commonly known as COVID-19. The sudden and unexpected changes this microscopic invader has wrought upon our world would have been unthinkable just a few short weeks ago.
Within days of the virus’ arrival, lives were turned upside down. The consequences were immediate and unprecedented. Almost overnight, schools and businesses closed, jobs were lost, families were quarantined, and nearly everyone started working from home.
It is impossible to predict how long these “stay at home” orders will last, or what the long-term economic and public health effects will be. No amount of insurance can cover the losses that are likely still to come.
This, too, will pass, of course. And we’re optimists here at P/L/R, so we have some suggestions for how to spend your time while you’re sheltering in place. This is a great time to take a video or photographic inventory of valuable items that may not be covered by your standard homeowner’s policy.
It’s an unfortunate surprise to many homeowners to learn that the loss of some of their most valuable possessions may not be entirely covered by their standard policy. Standard policies offer limited coverage for loss or theft of certain items like jewelry, guns, stamps, antiques, coins, and furs.
Standard limits for specific items can be fairly low – typically $2,500 for guns or $1,000 for jewelry; items like a record or comic book collection are sometimes excluded completely. Taking time today to document your precious personal items will be time well spent if you should ever suffer a loss.
“Almost every household has something that won’t be covered to full replacement value in a standard homeowner’s policy,” according to Bill Lawrence, CIC, and President of P/L/R Insurance. “Antiques, stamp or coin collections, firearms, furs, jewelry – even drones that are kept in the home but used for a business – should be scheduled on an endorsement to your standard policy.
“Many times, in addition to the video or photographic record of your possessions, we recommend professional appraisals of particularly expensive or unique items like jewelry, antique furniture, or special collections (guns, coins, baseball cards, etc.).
“Sometimes, a receipt for the purchase will suffice to document the value of an item; for unique collectibles or antiques, a professional appraisal is recommended.”
The good news is that adding these scheduled endorsements (sometimes called a “personal articles rider” or “floater”) to your standard policy is quite affordable. Different items have different rates, of course, but planning to invest about .1% of the appraised value of your scheduled items is a good way to estimate. So that $3,500 antique oak headboard that’s been in your family for 150 years will cost about $3.50 per year to insure; add $10,000 worth of jewelry for about $10 per year.
Please remember that even in these days of uncertainty and stay-at-home orders, P/L/R is here to serve you. You can reach us by phone or e-mail, and we’ll be happy to schedule a time to talk about setting up this specialized coverage for your most valued possessions.
Whatever you need, we’re here for you now, and we’ll still be here for you on the other side of this COVID-19 pandemic. P/L/R will always help you find the solution that is just right for you.