We got a question from an insured with Modesto, CA Renters Insurance about coverage for a number of specific items, jewelry and firearms. Fortunately, your policy does have specific language contemplating these two categories of property. So are your valuables covered by renters insurance?
Jewelry is generally covered under Coverage C, Personal Property. However, there’s a “special limit of liability,” or sublimit, that applies to the coverage. The sublimit on jewelry is generally either $1,000 or $1,500 depending on the underwriter. A similar sublimit applies to firearms. Why, and how can you fix it?
Both jewelry and firearms are small, highly portable, and highly valuable relative to other classes of property with similar size and portability. Traditionally, you would have needed an inland marine policy to cover just about anything that fell within the definition of small, highly portable, and valuable. But today, your valuables can be covered by renters insurance in a more efficient way.
Whether you’re looking to cover jewelry, firearms, or other similar classes of property, there is an endorsement which can help you. You can add it to your renters insurance policy, and it will cover some amount of those types of property. You specify the amount, and because it’s an endorsement to an existing policy the underwriting process is easier. You’ll want to have appraisals on hand, of course, but you should have those regardless.
Often, you can add up to $10,000 of jewelry to your renters insurance policy with this valuable items endorsement. You will want to increase your personal property coverage by the same amount, of course, lest you find that a large loss has little coverage because it included the item and that reduced your total personal property limit.
With the endorsement, your valuables will be covered by renters insurance against losses including theft, but also things like fire. Many a person has unfortunately taken their jewelry off for the evening and escaped a fire only to realize that the jewelry is still on the bedside table. Coverage for other perils is important, even though theft is the risk most people consider when they’re buying coverage.
While the price of the valuable items endorsement can vary somewhat by class of property and by how the value is divided between items, it’s always affordable. On average, adding this coverage to your renters insurance costs between ten and fifteen dollars per thousand dollars of value, per year. That’s quite a bargain to protect jewelry of significant value. Don’t forget that if you need more coverage, or if open perils is appealing to you, you can always add a floater policy that will accomplish those goals.
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