Protect Your Personal Possessions

Homeowner's insurance covers most basic contents of a house, such as furniture, clothing, and electronic equipment, at 50 percent of the value of the policy. Many people opt to increase this to about 70 percent, which has little effect on premiums. One-of-a-kind possessions like jewelry, artwork, a coin or stamp collection, and similar high-priced articles are also not fully protected by basic homeowner's policies. Stolen jewelry, for instance, is limited to $1,000 in coverage in most cases. To adequately insure these items, a rider or "floater," which costs about $17 per $1,000 in coverage, must be added to the policy. "People are usually unaware of the restrictions on reimbursement for valuables in their policies," says William Bland, director of large accounts and personal lines at "And often after they find out, they think that floaters cost too much. But since thefts are more likely to occur than a house being completely burned to the ground, it's foolish not to protect the most expensive contents in the home."
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