Whether it's a collection of baseball cards or your grandmother's pearl necklace, your collectibles or valuables are priceless to you. Because they're so important, don't take for granted that your homeowners policy will adequately cover your valuable items for loss. There may be limitations as to how much coverage you have for these "priceless" items.

High value items such as jewelry, silverware, fine arts, furs, coins, stamp collections, firearms, and musical instruments may have limited coverage, if any, under your homeowners policy. It's also possible to have coverage on items such as those listed above, but have restrictions on how much would be paid in the event of a loss.

For example, let's assume that your heirloom pearl necklace is stolen. A standard homeowners policy limits the maximum amount that is available for a loss by theft of jewelry items. In fact, the standard policy only pays up to $1,500 in coverage - and that's not even considering any policy deductible that must be applied. If the necklace is valued at $10,000, you're going to be underinsured by several thousand of dollars.

So how do you make sure you're adequately covered for your important collectible or valuable possessions?

• Take an inventory of your possessions. It's a great idea to complete a Household Inventory. Check out the "How to Complete a Household Inventory" video on YouTube page.

• You may need to obtain an appraisal from a qualified professional. Have your appraisals updated on a periodic basis as the value of items such as gold, silverware, etc. may vary greatly over time. Requirements for appraisals usually vary by company based on value and the type of item being insured. One Important reason for appraisals is that they may speed up the claims process as the claims adjuster will be able to more efficiently ascertain the value of your items.

• When working with your independent insurance agent to insure your home, be sure to review your important collectibles and other higher-valued personal property possessions with your agent. When your agent is informed, he or she can discuss items with you that may have coverage restrictions.

• Talk to your agent about scheduling your higher-valued personal property possessions for collectibles on a scheduled personal property endorsement. This endorsement is attached to your homeowners policy and provides you the additional coverage you need to ensure you're adequately protected in the event of a loss. Although there is an additional charge, the endorsement provides broader coverage and, in most cases, is available with no deductible.

While many of your collectible or valuable personal possessions are irreplaceable to you, don't find yourself without coverage should they be lost, stolen, or damaged. Ask questions, take notes, and talk to your independent agent to assure your coverage has enough value for your valuables.
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