Many people think that the social media tool Twitter is nothing more than people talking about what they ate for lunch. However, one unique way that I used Twitter this past week is to ask my Twitter friends, “what insurance topic or question would like to see on our blog.” The response was great and I received several suggestions including this one from @ChadDiller, the owner of U-Stickit Graphics. “How about the things you can and can’t use your homeowner’s insurance for?”
Chad’s question on what is covered and more importantly not covered is one of the most important questions to ask when purchasing home insurance. Some people believe everything is covered for all reasons but home insurance policies have exclusions and coverage limitations. One example of those limitations are the 11 Special Limits for insuring your belongings (Coverage C). Note that the list below is based on a standard HO-3 home insurance policy and the Special Limits may be different for your specific insurance company. Make sure to check your policy or talk to your agent for the details of your policy.
1. $200 on money, bank notes, coins, precious metals, stored value cards and smart cards
2. $1500 on securities, accounts, deeds, evidences of debt, letters of credit, notes, manuscripts, personal records, passports, tickets and stamps (limit includes cost to research , replace or restore the information from the lost or damaged material)
3. $1500 on watercraft of all types, including trailers, furnishings, equipment and outboard engines or motors
4. $1500 on trailers or semitrailers not used with watercraft of all types
5. $1500 for loss by theft of jewelry, watches, furs, precious and semiprecious stones
6. $2500 for loss by theft of silverware, silver-plated ware, goldware, gold-plated ware, platinum ware, platinum-plated water and pewterware
7. $2500 for loss by theft of firearms and related equipment
8. $2500 on property, on “residence premises”, used primarily for “business” purposes
9. $500 on property, away from the “residence premises”, used primarily for “business” purposes.
10. $1500 on electronic apparatus and accessories, while in or upon a “motor vehicle”. Accessories include antennas, tapes, wires, records, discs or other media
11. $1500 on electronic apparatus and accessories used primarily for “business” while away from the “residence premises” and not in or upon a “motor vehicle”. Accessories include antennas, tapes, wires, records, discs or other media that can be used with any appartus described above.
Now you can see that these “Special Limits” might not be so special if you have an expensive engagement ring or a large amount of business property at home. Fortunately most of the these limitations can be resolved by either using non-insurance risk reduction methods outlined in our prior blog post or by purchasing the right insurance for an extra premium. The key is to be aware that these Special Limits exist so as your belongings change or increase, your insurance provides the coverage you expect. Also look for our future blog post dealing with the business property limitation listed above and other exposures that home-based businesses face.
Leave a comment below and let me know if you were surprised by any of the 11 “Special Limits”.