When it comes to your Christmas gifts, one of the most disappointing things that can happen during the holiday season is discovering that your gifts have been damaged, lost, or stolen.
The average person will spend nearly $1,000 on gifts this year–not a small investment. Losing those purchases could certainly put a damper on the season, whether they are gifts you are giving or have received for yourself.
Whether your cat chews through the lights on the tree and starts a fire or a Grinch robs you blind, it’s important to know what your policy covers and where you are needing a little extra protection.
Which Policy Covers My Gifts?
Your homeowners or renters insurance policy will typically cover damages and loss of your personal belongings. Anything you purchase is generally covered under your policy. Personal Property Coverage provides coverage for personal belongings up to a limit that is automatically calculated as a percentage of the home’s insured value (usually 50 percent). That means you likely have $100,000 of personal belongings and contents coverage on a home insured for $200,000.
If your gifts are stolen outside of your home, such as from your vehicle, you might assume that your car insurance would foot the bill. However, the comprehensive coverage of most car insurance policies only covers damage or theft of the car itself–not the items inside it.
Instead, you would still need to file the claim against your homeowners or renters policy. If you bundle your home insurance with an affordable car insurance policy from the same company, you might qualify for discounts on coverage while also ensuring there is no confusion over which insurer is responsible for a claim.
Consider Increased Coverage Limits on Jewelry, Furs, and Firearms
Coverage for personal belongings is very broad under most homeowners and renters insurance policies, although certain items may have limited coverage. For example, many policies put limits on the amount of coverage for things like fine jewelry and firearms. If you have an extensive collection of art, firearms, jewelry, or any other collectible, we recommend checking with your agent to determine as you might need to add a valuable items endorsement to your policy.
Most Americans will do at least some of their shopping online this season – especially with many retailers offering expedited shipping for last-minute shoppers. Unfortunately, porch bandits take many gifts from the front steps of homes before they ever make it under the tree. You can avoid becoming a victim yourself by having your purchases shipped to a store or a local pick-up center. You can also request a signature on delivery.
If all else fails and your purchase never makes it into your hands, try contacting the retailer to request a replacement. If your shipment included insurance, you might also be able to file a claim with the carrier for your loss. Of course, your homeowners or renters insurance can cover the loss as well, but it will be subject to your deductible.
If you have questions about specific items you’ll be purchasing this holiday season and how to best protect them, contact us right away so you can be sure to make this season merry and bright!
Thom Grubbs is an insurance agent and partner at Pentagon Insurance Agency in Elk River, MN. Outside of work, Thom likes to bowl, fish, spend time with his family, and volunteer at his church. Get in touch with Thom and let him make life a little easier by talking over your situation.