Stop Assuming, Start Scheduling

DISCLAIMER: Coverage for items such as jewelry, guns, fine art, silverware, watches, etc., may not be covered for theft on your homeowner’s policy. If it is covered, the amount of coverage is set to a specified limit which varies from policy-to-policy/company-to-company. It is important to check with your agent to ensure that items of significant value and importance to you are scheduled (specifically listed for the appraised value) on your policy.

Stop Assuming

There is an old saying about making an assumption that reads like this:

To “assume” makes an “ass out of you and me.”

This play on the word “assume”, takes the word and breaks it down into 3 parts: “ass-u-me”

Essentially this is what happens when someone assumes that their personal property coverage in their homeowner’s policy covers items such as jewelry, guns, watches, silverware, fine art, etc. In the majority of basic homeowner’s policies, these items are covered if their loss is due to a named peril. Below is a list of named perils on the basic homeowner's policy:

  • Fire (including smoke caused by the fire)
  • Lighting
  • Explosion
  • Windstorm
  • Riot/Civil Commotion
  • Vandalism
  • Volcanic Action
  • Vehicles or Aircraft (NOT your vehicle or aircraft)
  • Smoke (smoke from another house down the street or smoke from something that never actually catches fire)
  • Sprinkler Leakage
  • Sinkhole Collapse

TAKE NOTE! Theft, however, is only covered up to the specified limits of the policy. These “specified limits” are not going to be enough if you have a highly valuable item I can promise you that.

Let’s weigh out the odds….Unless you live at the base of an active volcano, then you are WAY more likely to get robbed than lose your jewelry from a volcanic eruption. With that being said, if your agent is not checking with you, then YOU need to check with your agent to be sure these items are scheduled on your homeowner’s policy to have coverage if theft were to occur.

Remember, to “assume” makes both parties look bad.

First, it makes the agent look bad because….

  1. We are the ones that have to tell you, “No, I am sorry, but you do not have coverage or do not have enough coverage. We are also sorry that you failed to mention these items of significant value to us.”
  2. The customer will wonder why the agent did not explain these coverages….which if you are the agent, then you should go into details regarding these types of coverages.

Second, it makes the customer look bad because….

They forgot to buy insurance on a several thousand dollar diamond ring, antique firearm, or valuable painting, or they assumed it was covered. So following an unfortunate event, the customer finds themselves suffering from a loss without any coverage.

Conclusion

What lesson can you take away from this???

SCHEDULE ITEMS OF SIGNIFICANT VALUE/IMPORTANCE ON YOUR POLICY

Here are a few benefits of scheduling an item:

  • The item is covered for the full amount of the appraised value
    • This benefit is key because if you have a diamond ring appraised for $10,000, and it’s NOT scheduled, then the basic policy will only cover up to maybe $2,500 (again, this amount varies). If it is scheduled, then all $10,000 worth is covered.
  • If you mysteriously lose an item or the item disappears, it’s covered
  • Part of the item is covered (ex: You have a ring with 5 diamonds and one falls out. You’re covered for that one.)
  • The item scheduled is covered anywhere in the world

True Stories From Real People

This coverage saves you when:

  • You are a hunter who props his gun up on his truck. You forget it’s there and you run over it when you drive off.
  • You are a fisherman in the middle of the ocean. You lay your $5,000 Rolex on the side of the boat being careless. The boat is rocking which causes the Rolex to fall overboard.
  • Again, you are a hunter who just harvested a deer. It’s a nice buck, so you lay your gun in its horns for comparison to snap a quick picture….PLOT TWIST, the deer is not dead! It then jumps to its feet and runs off with your gun still in the deer's horns.

Sadly those are all true. Try not to be this careless….One of my favorite quotes says, “if you’re gunna be dumb, then you gotta be tough!” Well in this case, “if you’re gunna be dumb, then you better buy insurance!”

 

Thanks for reading,

-Harrison Horton