Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Protect Your Valuables from Criminals

Your policy limits or doesn't cover the things thieves target – like jewelry, watches, silverware, guns, cash, securities and gold. Unless you get appraisals and schedule these items separately you will have little or no coverage.

Sadly the crime rate is rising all across the country. A client was burglarized last week, thieves took $50,000 of jewelry and watches and $10,000 in cash. With no scheduled items coverage her policy only paid $2000 for jewelry and $300 for the cash. She had planned to schedule the jewelry but was too busy and never got around to it. Don’t let this be you.

The first thing to do is to keep items of sentimental value and those which you never or very rarely use in a safe deposit box. The same applies to valuable collectors’ items like gold and silver coins, loose gemstones. And since you have a safe deposit box, it’s also the best place to keep share certificates and other valuable documents.

Having secured the things you do not need or use every day, the next step is to protect those that you need to have in your home. The first thing to do is to invest in a good security system. Many people feel that they do not have enough in the way of valuables to justify the cost of a home security system. Spend a little time totaling up the value of all the valuables you have in your home that can easily be stolen. The figure may surprise you and cause you to rethink about the necessity of increasing your home’s security. And remember, the average burglar does not break in with specific objects in mind to steal. He will take whatever he can. Why should he not take the $100 candle stand if it’s right in front of him? Losing a few small things can be a pain, but losing a lot of them at the same time could be a real tragedy.

The next thing to do is to look at your insurance. You may be covered against theft, but is enough? Insurance policies limit the coverage of items that are targeted by thieves. Items like jewelry, watches, cash, securities, gold ware, silverware, guns etc. are usually limited to a value of $300 to $3,000. Remember, your great grandmother’s wedding ring may have cost just a $100 a century ago. How much is it worth now?

It makes sense to inventory your valuables, especially the big ticket items and schedule them on a separate policy. A typical blanket policy for jewelry, watches, gold, silver etc. along with appraised big items will only cost you 1.5% of their value. That is $150 for every $10,000 coverage. That’s not a large amount to pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that if the worst should happen, at least you are financially
protected. According to one leading insurance broker 75% of his clients do not bother to get appraisals done in order to buy extra coverage. With the increase in crime, this is taking an unacceptable risk.

There is one more thing and this is something you need to not do. Do not think that you need only the minimum insurance because getting robbed happens only to the other guy. For everyone else, you are the other guy.

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