Important Homeowners Insurance Riders to Consider Adding to a Policy

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Home, condo, mobile home, and tenant insurance policies have different kinds of coverage. Every policy has limitations or exclusions on certain items. If you have items that are excluded or limited on your policy, like jewelry, for example, then you might want to consider adding a jewelry rider to the policy.

A rider to your home insurance policy, also known as an endorsement, allows you to add coverage above and beyond the standard insurance policy coverage

How Adding an Insurance Policy Rider Protects Your High-Value Items

The reason that residential insurance policies have restrictions on high valued items and collectibles is that a home insurance policy has been written to insure the average household.

By limiting coverages to basics, the price of the policy remains reasonable for the average household. When you have items of higher value, or above the average of the general population who is happy with a basic policy, you have the option of adding a rider or endorsement to your home insurance policy. 

How to Determine When You Need a Rider on Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

If you have a good homeowners insurance agent, they will take the time to help you understand your insurance policy and ask a lot of questions. Even good agents are not able to know about everything you own.

It is important for you to know what is covered and what is not on your homeowner's insurance before you need to make a claim.

If you own certain expensive items, such as jewelry, oriental rugs, antiques and fine arts you may want to consider a rider on your homeowner's insurance policy.

A rider or endorsement is like a "mini-insurance policy" added to your current homeowner's insurance policy and it will give added protection to certain items that may be excluded or have low limits on your homeowner's insurance policy.   

What to Do If Your Current Coverage Limits or Excludes Your Items

If you find that you have a lot of items that are limited or excluded on your coverage, it may be time for you to consider insurance from a high-value insurance company that will offer you better home insurance coverage for your lifestyle.

A lot of people think high-value home insurance will be too expensive, but if you consider the cost of how much you will lose if you have a claim and are not insured properly, the costs are really minimal.

You will also have to schedule fewer items on riders since their policy limits are higher because they specialize and expect that you will have many of these items, including fine arts, jewelry, wine collections, and antiques. Their policies are built to insure people who have these things. 

Common Home Insurance Policy Riders or Endorsements

There are many kinds of riders that can be added to a home insurance policy. A rider is an endorsement to your insurance policy.

For an additional premium, an endorsement or rider can add additional coverage to your policy for items of high value that you might need additional insurance for because they would otherwise be limited or excluded from your insurance policy.

Jewelry Rider

Basic homeowner policies may cover as little as $1,000 for jewelry. Purchasing a jewelry rider is very inexpensive and will protect each individual piece of jewelry you own not only against damage but theft and in some cases even mysterious disappearance. Some specialized high-end jewelry riders will even include coverage for the missing piece if a stone or gem falls out of it.

Every insurance company is different so make sure and ask exactly how your rider will protect you and if you will have a deductible.

Make sure when you get your policy each valuable piece of jewelry you own has an agreed upon itemized value listed in the policy, so there is no conflict if you have to make a claim.

If you store your valuables in a safety deposit box or fire safe box, you may be able to also get additional discounts or different riders. Jewelry not only includes your typical pearl necklaces or diamond earrings but should also include any high valued watches.

People think of jewelry and often think of women's jewelry, but remember that men have jewelry too, when you count everything a $1,000 limit may not take you very far. 

Artwork and Antiques Rider

A rider for artwork and antiques is very inexpensive, so it is certainly worth the cost to add to your policy. One of the problems with standard policies is that items that by their inherent nature cannot be replaced or repaired may only be compensated at their actual cash value at the time of loss, which may be interpreted as a depreciated value.

Art and antiques usually appreciate over time, so the policy wording becomes very important when you have a lot of art or antiques. Make sure you discuss the limitations with your insurance agent and fully understand the basis of claims settlement for these items, and try and insure them on a rider, for agreed value or replacement value. You should expect to also have evaluations or certificates of authenticity to prove your loss in a claim and verify value.

Silverware and Furs

Coverage for silverware and furs may also be in the special limits of your home policy. If you have a claim, you may not receive a proper settlement for the full value of furs and silverware if you do not have them on a rider.

With changing lifestyles, silverware and furs are not as popular as they once were, but many people still have these items, often as inheritances. 

Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs may also have limited coverage under a typical homeowners insurance policy. Homeowners insurance companies know oriental rugs are expensive and they do usually include them in your policy.

Depending on your insurance company, coverage may be limited. If you would like to make sure the cost of your oriental rugs are reimbursed if they are damaged, then you should purchase an insurance rider for them.

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