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Wine and Jewellery Under Traditional Home Insurance Plans

September 26, 2011

Collecting exquisite pieces of jewellery and bottles of wines is a common hobby for many homeowners; these collections can often fetch amazing prices of up to thousands of dollars. It makes sense to wonder if these valuables are protected under a regular home insurance policy.

Traditional insurance plan

Regardless of the type of residential property, home insurance plans vary in the extent of their coverage. A plan may include the building itself, only the contents or both. Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, appliances and the like are covered by traditional home insurance. Even items that are temporarily removed from your home are also included, like the digital camera you take with you on vacation. Some of the perils considered in a home insurance claim include fire, explosions, smoke (from malfunctioning cooking or heating appliances), theft, as well as falling objects and water damage (both excluding occurrences caused by natural disasters).

High value homes

Unfortunately, pieces of jewellery and wine collections are usually not covered by basic home insurance policies for their full value. Along with cash, works of art (paintings, sculpture, etc.), coin and stamp collections, manuscripts and other big ticket items are subject to coverage limits. In fact, homes with extensive wine or jewellery collections priced at $25,000 or more are classified to have a ‘high value,’ and have separate and special insurance requirements.

Insurance Options

It is worth noting, however, that some Canadian insurance companies offer plans made specifically for high-value homes. These insurance plans are created to differentiate a high-priced necklace from an ordinary sterling silver one and classify precious stones from costume ones. With this kind of coverage, you are able recover the costs associated with purchasing the jewellery or wines, or perhaps even have your entire collection replaced.

There are supplementary insurance plans available for homeowners which provide coverage for collections of high value. Also called as “riders” or “floaters,” these plans cover all potential risks associated with your valuable items, but are subjected to certain limitations. There are usually no deductible costs (that is, your claim shall be fully covered by your insurance provider), and the coverage is applicable in most countries worldwide.

Before deciding between purchasing a separate or supplementary insurance policy for your valuables, it would be wise to consult your insurance representative to learn about your current coverage. Then proceed with getting and comparing quotes from different Canadian home insurance companies after you have obtained all the necessary information.

Accounting and safekeeping

If you have large collections of jewels or wines, some accounting and safekeeping work is important in securing them. Preparing a jewellery or wine checklist will help you determine the quantity and value of the items in your collection.

Some homeowners may choose to take pictures or video recordings of their valuables. You may hire the services of a professional appraiser to gauge the value of your jewellery or wines and spirits.  And if you plan to buy more items, remember to keep the receipts as these will help your insurance provider in assessing future home insurance claims.

Storage and protection

To protect your collectibles from hazardous occurrences or accidents, keep your jewellery in tightly sealed containers such as a metal safe box. Store your wine and spirits in a climate-controlled room. Jewellery items that have been worn out, tarnished or broken in any way may not be covered by your insurance policy. Keeping your collections in mint condition will help you achieve the maximum coverage possible.

If you have a large collection of particular value, you might want to consider a stand-alone insurance policy. This will offer the optimal coverage, without involving your existing home policy. The first step is to submit an appraisal form to see how much of the collection will be protected. In making the decision regarding the best insurance policy for your valuables, it is still best to sit down with a trusted insurance representative.