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Make sure your valuable holiday gifts are covered by home insurance


If you received a special holiday gift this year, you’ll probably do your best to keep it safe and secure. But if something does happen to your new gift, will your home insurance cover the repairs or replacement cost? Some specialty or high-value items like jewelry, watches or art require additional coverage to be fully insured. Read on to learn how you can ensure your new holiday gifts are fully covered by your insurance policy.

What’s covered by home insurance?

Home insurance protects the contents of your home and your belongings no matter where they are in the world. Whether your diamond ring is stolen while on a trip or a fire damages your kitchen appliances, your home insurance coverage will help cover the repairs or replacement cost. 

However, policies do have specific limits for specialty items, such as jewelry and watches, gems, fur, bicycles, golf carts, watercraft, fine art, silverware, wine collections, computer software, plants on your property and spare car parts.1 If your gift falls into one of those categories, review your policy’s limits for the category. If the value of your belongings in a specific category exceeds the specified limit of your policy, you’ll need to purchase additional coverage to cover the full value. 

Steps to securing coverage for your gift

1.    Keep a record of how much it’s worth. 

For most items, keeping a receipt of the purchase will be enough to prove its value to the insurance company. Although asking for the receipt for a gift might be awkward, if you tell the gift giver that it is for insurance purposes they’ll probably understand. 

Jewelry and antiques need to be appraised by a certified and reputable appraiser. Keep this appraisal in a safe place so you can provide it to your broker if needed.

2.    Take a photo and store it with your home inventory

Having a photo of the item can help with the claims process. Safely store the photo with the rest of your home inventory. If you haven’t started a home inventory, learn why it’s important to know how much your belongings are worth.

3.    Review your policy

In your home insurance policy, there will be a section about special limits of insurance which lists the limits for each of the specialty categories listed. Using your home inventory, add up all the items you own in each category to see if their value exceeds the limit — if they do exceed the limit, you may need additional coverage.

4.    Call your insurance broker

If your belongings in a category do exceed the category’s limit, it’s time to call your broker to discuss additional coverage options. Ask your broker what coverage is available and what it includes. When you purchase additional coverage for an item, you may not have to pay the deductible if there is a loss.

5.    Keep your new gift safe

Even if your valuables are covered, the original gift probably has sentimental value. Keep it safe by leaving it at home when you can or storing it somewhere with a high-quality lock when possible. Leaving valuables in your gym locker or car, even if locked, can be a target for theft. In your home, consider keeping valuables like expensive jewelry in a fireproof safe. 

If you’d like to talk to your OTIP insurance broker about adding additional coverage for a gift onto your insurance policy, call 1-800-267-6847. If you’d like to get a quote for home insurance, call 1-866-561-5559

If you enjoyed reading this article, subscribe to OTIP’s e-communications and you will get more news like this delivered straight to your inbox. Plus, you will be entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card!

1. Economical.ca

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