Insurance riders: What are they and why you may need them

January 17, 2017 | SECURA Insurance

Customize your coverage with home insurance riders

Customize your coverage with home insurance riders

If you have valuables in your home like jewelry or artwork, you’ll likely need an insurance rider (also known as an endorsement or scheduled personal property) added to your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Most homeowners insurance policies have limited coverage on high-value items, so insurance riders provide the protection you need if your items are damaged, lost, or stolen.

Here are a few things in your home you might find worthy of added protection:
  • Artwork, antiques, and collectibles – Standard homeowner coverage limits are typically set around $2,000 for artwork and other special collections. If you’re a collector, get an appraisal to determine your collection’s value. 
  • Firearms – If you have a high-value firearm or gun collection, you may want a rider. Your insurer may request serial numbers and other specifics for each gun and will likely require that guns are stored securely. 
  • Electronics – Coverage for your computer equipment, high-end cameras, and gaming systems may be limited. Standard coverage is generally $5,000 or less. If you’re a true technophile, add up the value of your electronics and check it against your policy limits. 
  • Jewelry – A standard homeowners policy may cover about $2,000 for jewelry. If you have a larger collection or want to protect a piece against damage, loss, or theft, a jewelry rider might be right for you, protecting your valuables when standard coverage does not apply. If you lose your wedding ring in the garden, for example, that loss is typically not covered by a standard policy.
The best insurance coverage begins by talking with your agent about what kind of coverage makes sense for you. Find a trusted insurance agent today to start the conversation. 

A special note on depreciated and replacement value: Some policies may insure your household items at their depreciated value, or what something is worth at its current age. With this type of policy, if your 10-year-old bedroom set is lost in a fire, you would not receive the full amount you paid at the time of purchase. 
Other policies provide replacement value. That means you’ll receive the full cost to buy a new item of similar quality. Talk to your agent and find out what type of coverage you have. You may be able to purchase a rider that offsets depreciation.  

Also, some policies require an appraisal in order to get a rider on high-value items. Keep an up-to-date home inventory, and store copies of your receipts and appraisals in a secure, off-site location like a safe deposit box or the cloud. 

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