When you leave your home, the homeowner’s insurance policy that you have purchased will also follow you. It protects you and your family against theft or loss of personal possessions and liability due to property damage or accidental injuries. A standard homeowner’s policy, thus, includes off-premises coverage unless you have decided to exclude it, according to Insurance Information Institute spokesman Michael Barry. Moreover, it is important to know that you don’t have to own the house to protect your belongings wherever they are. Many people may also not realize that they can cover their off-premises possessions under renters insurance. However, it is important that you know the off-premises limits as well as deductibles in order to determine whether you should file a claim or not. In this article, five different scenarios in which renters or homeowners insurance can save you from incurring losses when you are away from home are explained.
Loss of jewelry or other valuables
A theft in a hotel can ruin anniversary celebrations, weddings or other special events, especially if expensive jewels, furs or heirloom pieces have been stolen. A homeowner’s policy covers all these items, but the question is whether they are sufficiently covered. A homeowner’s policy typically covers personal possessions for 50% to 70% of the value of the home insured. Some companies limit the coverage to 10% if you are away from home. You should also be aware that personal property coverage carries tax deductibles and that insurers generally limit their liability on high value items like furs and jewelry. Further, it should be noted that reducing the deductible before an event may boost up the premium substantially. A better strategy is to buy separate insurance for jewelry and other valuables.
Loss of Luggage
Every year, more than 500,000 luggage pieces that are checked by airlines get stolen or lost. Of course, the numbers have come down from over one million which was the norm till a few years ago, but this does not make any difference if your bag gets lost or stolen. You may be compensated by the airline if such things happen. Further, lost luggage is also covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance after the deductible and is subject to limits. You may have to provide a list of contents in the lost bag, but generally the claim against lost or stolen luggage is not denied. However, it is important that you weigh the value of contents in the luggage against your deductible before calling the insurance agent.
Theft during shopping
Gifts that are stolen from your car cannot be claimed under auto policy, but a homeowner’s policy. However, some auto insurers have started offering personal property insurance on auto policies. The fee charged is less, about $25 per year, but deductibles are not allowed. You can make a claim only once and the limits applicable are $200 for a cell phone, $1,000 for a laptop, etc. However, it is a good idea to check with your credit card company, if you have used the plastic card to shop, as some of them would provide cover if you have used their card to make purchases. If you can avoid a claim on your homeowner’s policy, it is good because when you renew it next year you will have to pay a higher rate.
When traveling on business, the computer and other property related to work that you carry can be covered under your homeowner’s policy. Of course, subject to limits specified as a percentage. For example, if your equipment is insured for $5,000 under your homeowner’s policy, its off-premises coverage would be $500.
The personal liability coverage is best explained with the help of an example. Imagine that you are on a vacation in a golf club. You shank a drive and break a window or cause injuries to a fellow golfer. In all likelihood, your homeowner’s policy would cover the cost of the broken window, the medical bills of the golfer and legal defense related to lawsuits or claims.