While insurance probably isn’t top of mind when you buy a gift for a loved one, it isn’t something you can afford to ignore either. Here are a few ways you can ensure your gift keeps giving, instead of it becoming a regrettable loss.
Review Your Coverage
Most Rhode Island home insurance policies limit coverage for valuables such as jewelry, art, musical instruments, expensive computer software and hardware, sports equipment, cameras, precious metals, stocks, and other items. However, your insurance agent may be able to add an endorsement, floater, or rider to your policy for a small additional cost. You’ll need a receipt or an appraisal to verify the item’s value.
Additionally, some policies have exclusions for theft of particular items, such as laptops, tablets, and cellphones or they include a high deductible you need to pay before they’ll pay out your claim.
If you’re planning to give a pricey gift to someone in your household, talk to your insurance agent. They may be able to expand your homeowners or renters insurance policy to include the new item. You need to understand what’s covered under your policies, and what additional protection you need.
Some items may require a standalone policy instead of an endorsement, rider, or floater. A standalone policy can offer added protection for accidental loss, appreciation, inflation, and items stored in a safety deposit box such as fine jewelry worn on special occasions. Insurers usually require an appraisal or bill of sale to confirm the item’s value. Policies do not have a deductible.
You may also need a standalone policy if the person receiving the gift doesn’t live with you. In this case, it may not be possible to add it to your homeowners insurance policy. If either the person receiving the gift doesn’t have their own homeowners or renters insurance, you may also want to buy a standalone policy.
Additionally, if you buy someone a gift intended for work use you may need a standalone policy since many homeowners and renters policies exclude coverage.
You’ll need coverage to get the vehicle off the lot. If the gift recipient already shares your auto insurance policy, just add the vehicle and then transfer the title after you gift it.
If the person doesn’t live with you, they need their own insurance. The simplest way to do this is to gift the vehicle at the dealership so they can set up the insurance and title on-site.
If you’re planning on shipping a valuable gift, choose a company that requires a signature upon delivery and offers insurance. Delivery companies that leave parcels on doorsteps aren’t responsible for losses and thieves often follow their trucks looking for easy pickings.
Fine art needs a professional shipper and insurance. They pack and track your item, so there’s less chance of damage or loss in transit. If something does happen, you can file an insurance claim for restoration or replacement.
Don’t pack expensive gifts in your luggage if you’re hoping to save a few bucks when flying. Airport thefts aren’t unusual and your bag could arrive without your expensive gift. Not to mention, baggage handlers often toss bags around, which could lead to your items being damaged.
Insurance experts recommend an annual review of insurance coverage to ensure it aligns with your needs. Prepare a home inventory so your agent understands the precise coverage you need to avoid unnecessary costs and protect the items you value. Don’t forget to add those special gifts to your list to protect them well.