Is Theft Limited On My Homeowners Policy?
I remember when I first stopped going to a typical gym and started a group fitness plan, Crossfit. It's great, but there is one thing that is completely frustrating; learning the system. Learning the lingo, and it's meaning. Learning how the exercises are performed, proper technique, etc. It's like going to a new church or starting a new job. Everything is weird, and I'm uncomfortable because I don't know what's going on. The same thing happens when we file a claim and don't get the money we're expecting. We become uncomfortable, and frustrated because we don't understand how it works.
The problem doesn't start when we file the claim. It starts when we get the policy. If we had a better understanding of the policy we wouldn't be blindsided when a claim check falls short, or when a claim doesn't pay at all.
Our main question shouldn't just be what does homeowners insurance cover, but also what does it not cover.
Let me explain how a $33,000 theft claim only paid out $13,000, and it's not because the insurance company is "a crook", which is what we typically resort to when we're let down.
It's because the insurance policy was insufficient. It didn't have enough coverage for the guns and jewelry. Those types of contents are seriously limited when it comes to theft. Yet, those are the most sought after items for thieves.
We've got to ask ourselves what we'd want replaced if our home was robbed:
The coffee pot? not really
DVD player? no big deal
The 60 inch TV? yes
The guns? yes
But did you know that your homeowners policy only gives you $1500 for jewelry in the event you're robbed? $1500!!! You want to hate an insurance company? Have $10,000 in jewelry stolen from your home and tell me how you feel when you get that $1500 insurance claim check.
Same goes for guns, except they're covered up to $2500, but that also includes related equipment (i.e. scopes, ammunition, cases, etc). It doesn't take much to hit $2500.
I've often heard tattoos are addicting. I have none, so I wouldn't know. But I do have guns, and owning guns can be addicting. I remember when I didn't have any. Now I have 11. Well, actually I don't. 5 were stolen...
And baseball cards - I have thousands, but in the event of a theft, I get $200. Two hundred dollars! I have single cards worth more than that.
We do have an alarm. I'll gladly pay $50/month to deter those who think of stealing as a hobby.
2 tips to avoid being blindsided by your claim check:
1) tell your agent you need more coverage for guns and jewelry (it's dirt cheap)
2) take pictures, general pictures of everything. A few shots of each room, but for sure of the guns and jewelry, and any china or true silverware
Those 2 simple steps will make you feel much better in the event your house is robbed.