How to look after your most expensive stuff
Stylish living room with furniture and plants

Everyone wants to protect what’s important to them. And if you’re lucky enough to have a family diamond necklace handed down to you, an impressive wine collection, or a top-of-the-line racing bike you’ve spent years saving up for, those valuable items will need extra protection – just in case. Of course, no one wants to think of the worst-case scenario but, after all, that’s what insurance is for! Here’s what you need to know about insuring your most expensive stuff.

Heads Up! No matter what type of property insurance you have – home, tenant or condo – make sure your stuff is protected with the right amount of coverage.

Why should I review my home insurance? 

It’s not the most glamourous task but it needs to be done! It’s so important to review your existing policy regularly, or if you’re moving, or thinking of switching home insurance providers.

When you set up your policy, you choose your coverage limit for your personal belongings based on approximately how much your stuff is worth. But, things change – and so does your stuff! Revisiting your policy on the regular keeps you informed on what’s already covered, and so you can determine if you need a higher limit for personal belongings or need to schedule new high-value items.

Whenever you come into possessions of high worth, they should be added to your policy as soon as possible to make sure they’re protected. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to review your policy at least once a year in case there are any major changes to what you own.

Tip: If you’re a Sonnet customer it’s easy to update your policy online in just a few clicks. Follow these steps on how to increase your set limits for your special belongings.

Can I insure expensive items under a home insurance policy? 

Well, it depends on the item. So, it’s best to advise your provider of all your expensive items. Not all property can have increased coverage, but your insurance provider will let you know what is acceptable. If your home were to have an electrical fire or break-in (knock on wood), you’ll have peace of mind knowing your valuables are covered.

What are valuable things in my house? 

You’ve probably got a lot of stuff that’s valuable – your laptop, appliances, maybe a designer bag or two. A lot of your pricier stuff will be covered by your base policy under your personal belongings coverage (subject to your limit). While everyone’s list of valuables will be different, insurance companies have a list of specific items that have maximum limits.

These list of items commonly include:

  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Art
  • Collectibles (stamps, coins, sports cards, etc.)
  • Furs
  • Bicycles

Don’t overlook everyday items. They might be worth more than you think! Go through your closets, drawers, and attic to see if you own any treasures and then make sure the value is covered by your limit.

How to insure valuable items

While most home insurance policies cover your personal property, many have limits – called “special limits” – on certain pricier items. These special limits might not be enough to cover your high-value items or collections. The items we talked about above like jewellery, artwork, collectibles, and bicycles typically have special limits. If their value exceeds the special limit, your best bet is to list the item(s) for additional coverage. This is often called “scheduling” an item.

How does scheduling work? Let’s say you have a ring worth $25,000 but your policy’s special limit for jewellery is $3,000. If it’s lost or stolen, you want it to be covered up to its full value – not just the limit of $3,000! By scheduling the item, you insure it for its full value. Keep in mind, scheduling does raise your premium – get a quote with your insurer to see how much it will cost. At the end of the day, the peace of mind is well worth it.

Heads up! Certain items like business property and spare auto parts have fixed standard limits. These limits cannot be increased.

How do I value my items and record what I own in case of an insurance claim? 

Your stuff is not only sentimental, it could also be worth something. Documenting the cost of higher-end items will help you and your insurer if you ever have to submit a home insurance claim.

Here are a few tips on how to document the expensive things you own:

  • Take full inventory. Carefully document your valuables (including each item in a collection). Provide a detailed description for each item, including how much you paid, where it was purchased, serial numbers and, if you have it, the most recent appraisal amount. Make note of any receipts or invoices you have for each item.
  • Take photos. Along with a written catalogue of your stuff, you should also have photos or videos of each item. Make sure the photos clearly detail the condition of each item. You might need to take photos from different angles to get the full picture. Include the date when the photo was taken.

Tip: Go paperless! Back up your catalogue, receipts, and photos to the cloud so you’ve a digital copy.

  • Have your valuables appraised. Take your items to a qualified professional appraiser who specializes in your area of interest.
  • Keep your stuff safe. Unfortunately, theft, environmental, and human-caused damage is out of your control but you can be proactive. Make sure your valuables are stored or displayed in a place where they aren’t exposed to extreme temperatures or could be easily stolen. You might also consider getting a home security system. If you’re moving, ensure that each item is packed securely.

Take some time to review and record the expensive things you own. It’s the best way to make sure your assets are protected. If you have any questions about your coverage or if you want to add optional coverages to your policy, reach out to your insurance provider. They’ll be able to provide you with expert advice on how to best protect your stuff.

Sonnet customers can reach out to us via email or chat. We’re always happy to review details about your home to keep you and your stuff safe.

Find out how easy home and auto insurance can be.