CONFRONTING THE DREADED "I" WORD
Insurance is a topic that sends almost anyone heading for the hills. Face it, most of us would rather talk about anything... March Madness, the weather, annoying relatives, you name it... rather than insurance. But, if you have nice things, insurance is something that you really want to explore.
Perhaps the most common misconception is that artwork, antiques, etc. are covered by your homeowner's policy. In fact, that usually is not the case. To get coverage for your finer things, most insurance companies require a separate policy commonly referred to as a Fine Arts Rider. The value threshold will differ from company to company, so this is a conversation you definitely want to have with your agent.
In most instances, insurers will require a written insurance appraisal for items covered by the rider. While that is good for appraisers like myself, you will want to do the math first to make sure the appraisal cost plus the rider cost makes sense relative to the items you wish to cover.
For household contents, a great idea is to do an inventory, both written and digital. Save purchase receipts and scan them both to a flash drive that you can store off site plus on cloud server such as Google. Redundancy is your friend here! The easiest way to do the digital documentation is to do a slow 360 degree video of each room. Most insurance companies will do the right thing regardless but there is a lot of truth to a picture being worth a thousand words.
Lastly, do your inventory and insurance updates now. Having been through Hurricane Irma here in Sarasota, take it from me: you will have your hands full with plenty of other things besides insurance policies in the event of severe weather or any other sort of disaster ;-)
Bryan H. Roberts is a professional appraiser in Sarasota, FL. He is a member of the Florida State Guardianship Association and currently serves on the board of the local FSGA chapter. He is a past president of the Sarasota County Aging Network, a non-profit that provides grants to other non-profits benefiting seniors in need and is also a board member of PEL, an area non-profit whose resale store profits support programs and scholarships for at-risk and disadvantaged youth. He is certified in the latest Uniform Standards of Appraisal Practice (USPAP) Equivalent