Coverages for Valuables & Collections

valuablesThe name Inland Marine may sound misleading. The name originated at Lloyds of London, used for insuring goods as they crossed the ocean as well as the ships on which they were transported. Later called “marine coverage” and “ocean marine insurance”, the name changed to Inland Marine after the coverage adapted to land transportation.

Though you may not have heard of it, Personal Inland Marine coverage is more common than you might think. These policies cover valuables and collections, which have limited coverage under your home policy and receive more broad coverage when insured on their own.

Coverage for Valuable Items

Do you own jewelry or art valued at over $500, $1,000, or more than $10,000 per item? If the answer is “yes”, your typical home policy is not providing you with coverage for these valuables. These policies insure collections like wine or fine art, or for high valued items such as jewelry, camera equipment, or musical instruments. The typical Homeowner’s policy provides coverage for your appliances, furniture, and clothing, with only limited coverage for jewelry, art, and other collectibles.

More Broad Than Personal Property

In addition to covering a wide variety of collections, coverage provided under this policy is more broad that your personal property coverage. More perils are covered under this type of policy or may be on an “open perils” basis, meaning if it is not specifically excluded it is covered. You may also have coverage for a missing stone in a ring, accidently breaking a statue, or damage to an expensive painting.

While your personal property coverage offers small fixed limits for items like jewelry, you can purchase higher limits with an Inland Marine policy. Coverage can be for a single item, a schedule of items, or a collection on a blanket basis, meaning a single limit for a group or collection of items. Depending on the insurance company, you may have the choice of covering items based on their appraised value or an agreed value.

Buying Coverage

While you may be undecided if an Inland Marine policy is the best way to cover your most valued items or unique collections, there are some other reasons to consider purchasing this coverage.

  1. You can cover your valuables or collectibles per item for what they are worth or insure them for an agreed amount.
  2. If you decide not to itemize your collection, you can buy blanket coverage giving you up to the insured limit for the collection for repair or replacement.
  3. Some companies offer a cash settlement option for your hard to replace items.
  4. With many companies, your items are covered while they travel with you anywhere in the world, though you may need to let your agent or representative know before you travel with expensive jewelry or other items.

Some collections take years to build, whether they are expensive or merely a hobby. Inland Marine coverage can be as valuable as the items they insure.