I wrote about Home Insurance Gotchas, and in it, I outlined how you need to tell your Insurer (for your home) about anomalies in your coverage like expensive jewelry, art or changes to your home. For long time readers you will also remember I have written (or paraphrased from Tom Clancy) if it is not written down, how do you know it happened? Let me take these two articles together to make a point when dealing with insurers, if you don’t write it down, and they don’t acknowledge your statement, you may not be covered. It is important to do home insurance follow up.
This advice is simply, better safe than sorry, in terms of thematic premises. As an example, if you have a comic book collection that you think is worth $4500 in terms of replacement cost, you should:
- Get an estimate done by an authoritative appraiser, about the real value of the set, and get their report sent to you.
- Call your insurer, and fax them the appraised value.
- Wait for whether they will insure this and whether they will charge you a higher premium for this privilege.
- Pay whatever extra premiums are needed, and get an updated policy from your insurer, which mentions your comics and their current value.
- Any time you feel your collection has increased in value, contact your insurer and start at step (1) again
- If you sell your collection, contact your insurer to have it removed from your policy.
If you miss any of these steps (maybe not step (6)), you may not be insured or covered they way you think you are.
Do I Hate Insurers ?
Before I get my insurance friends slamming me about how I am being anti-Insurance (which at times I have been) this is more a Caveat Emptor statement. If you want the insurance business to work for you, you must abide by their rules (unfortunately).
Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Excellent post. I have done riders for my engagement ring (quite pricey) and my hearing aids (those things are expensive!).
Overall increase was $20/year which was a small price to pay but it paid in dividends when my hearing aid crapped out unexpectedly 1.5 years after getting them and I didn’t have to pay a deductible. My insurance company was shocked to see how much I had to pay for but I told them that I sent them the appraisal value which they granted me. They weren’t happy about it but had to use the invoice for my replacement hearing aid. The timing couldn’t have been better in this one as I was in between jobs at the time!
I did have my laptop added when I was pursuing higher education for a couple of years as I was travelling everywhere with it and had minimal income at the time. Again, it paid in dividends when my laptop crapped out on me (after warranty, naturally), and I got my replacement in 2 days. After I was done using it for schooling and using it for personal use, I then took it off.
It also points out that if you have home insurance, you really should have a home inventory of what you have and their relative value. There are plenty of Spreadsheet templates out there to keep track of this, and it is much easier to make a claim if there is a catastrophic event, as well. Write things down, or better still take photos or videos so you can remember what you had.