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Insurance endorsements you should consider for expensive Christmas presents

By: Renee Sylvestre-Williams on December 8, 2021
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This article has been updated from a previous version.

If you’re planning on giving or getting an expensive Christmas present this holiday season, such as jewelry, art or electronics, chances are good you don’t want to see it damaged, lost, or stolen.

And while what you keep in your home is generally covered by your home insurance policy, high-value items tend to come with coverage limits. They usually require endorsements or “add-ons” that increase the coverage available to you for things like engagement rings, paintings and musical instruments. 

Below, we take a look at what insurance endorsements are available for expensive gifts.

Jewelry insurance endorsement

Are you looking to insure an engagement ring this Christmas? Coverage for an item like this is not something you think about until you need it.

Usually, jewelry, watches, and furs are covered under your homeowner’s insurance but only up to a combined amount of up to $6,000 per claim, based on the policy’s deductible. If you’re giving or receiving jewelry that’s valued at more than $6,000, you should consider purchasing a jewelry endorsement. The premium is typically between 1% and 2% of the item’s value. However, some factors can influence the cost, such as property theft rates in your neighbourhood and whether you have a security system installed in your home. 

Insurance companies use your postal code to determine the likelihood of you making a claim. If your neighbourhood is prone to property theft, you may pay a higher premium than neighbourhoods with lower incidence of thefts. Conversely, you may get a lower premium if you install a security system that discourages thieves. 

You can also get insurance through a jewelry insurance provider that specializes in accurately appraising your pieces to get a policy that will protect you from theft or damage. 

Another important thing to note is that jewelry endorsements cover the replacement value of the item. Since jewelry appreciates over time, it’s a good idea to get it reappraised every few years to ensure your insurance covers the current value. 

Art insurance endorsement

When it comes to insurance, the term “art” covers a lot, including: 

  • Drawings 
  • Photography
  • Ceramics
  • China
  • Vintage memorabilia, including sports 
  • Vintage cars
  • Musical instruments
  • Books and manuscripts
  • Sculptures
  • Coins and stamps 
  • Any collection that has value, including toys
  • Antiques

Again, your homeowner’s insurance will cover most art, but there is a limit to that coverage. Your policy may not cover the full value of the art, or worse, may not cover your items at all if they don’t fall under your policy’s definition of “art.” 

Another reason to consider an art insurance endorsement is that homeowner’s insurance may not cover incidents such as theft, damage to the piece, breakage due to transit, and incidents that may happen if you lend out your art. 

If your art isn’t overly valuable based on the market but would be difficult to replace (e.g. it’s a family piece), consider an art rider. This can be added to your homeowner’s insurance to extend the coverage limit for your art and insure it from theft.

Otherwise, separate art insurance can be useful for family heirlooms that would sell for a significant amount of money. It can also come in handy to cover any incidents your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover. Similar to a jewelry endorsement, you can expect your premium to be around 1% to 2% of the article’s value

Bicycle insurance endorsement

Bicycles are another high-value item that you’ll want to insure. Bicycle sales skyrocketed in Toronto during 2020. If you’ve spent good money on a nice bike, you’ll want to protect it because theft remains a major problem. Your homeowner’s insurance policy generally covers the value of the bicycle; however, if you’re a professional cyclist or spend a lot of time off-road, a separate bike policy might be a good idea so you’re covered for roadside assistance, too.

A quick note: this refers to the insurance for the bike, not the rider. That said, you should have liability coverage under your homeowner’s insurance for when you’re riding your bike.

If you decide you need more coverage than your home insurance policy allows, you can buy cycling insurance via third-party providers. The average deductible is about 5% of the bike’s value, but that can increase if you buy a specialized bicycle such as a mountain bike, off-road bike, e-bike or competitive-level bike. 

Electronic device insurance

Electronics can be expensive. The iPhone 13 Pro retails for $1,399, and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G costs $2,269.99 — that’s a month’s rent in big cities. So if you’re giving electronics as a gift, you want to make sure you have all the instructions, the warranty, a protective case, and insurance because you don’t want something that costly to get lost or damaged. 

If your phone, computer, or smartwatch is stolen or damaged, your homeowner’s insurance will typically cover it; however, making a claim will likely lead to a higher annual premium. So, you’ll have to consider if making a claim is worth it. Cell phone providers also offer warranties that cover the cost of damage or theft. And many credit cards now also offer mobile device insurance when you purchase the phone using your credit card.

Giving and receiving a gift is always a pleasure. But if the item is valuable, you should consider getting a policy or extending your current insurance coverage with an endorsement to ensure it’s protected. Read the fine print to make sure that you’re getting the coverage you need — and then enjoy your gift.

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