Got an Expensive Gift Over the Holidays? Be Sure to Update Your Homeowner’s Policy

Getting extraordinary gifts for holidays is very exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. Why? Because if something happens, and you’re not insured – it can quickly turn into a nightmare.

During the busy holiday season, you’re already handling so much; from getting presents for everyone on your long list, to making sure you can attend all the company and family parties, to dealing with certain family members – that it’s easy to forget that you should also make sure you have homeowner’s insurance.

Think about all the expensive gifts that this holiday may bring you.

Are you getting a precious piece of jewelry for your precious wife? An expensive watch for your husband? A nice, big TV from Santa? Maybe your grandma is gifting you a new Mac, or you’re getting a car from your parents? Maybe you’ll get a boat, or a horse you always wanted.

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Yes, ‘tis the season to be generous and giving, joyous and celebratory. But, what happens if your house gets filled with expensive gifts, and gets burglarized, damaged or destroyed?

Unfortunately, all of your gifts will not necessarily be covered under your homeowner’s policy, since there may be limitations on the amount of insurance provided by your policy, especially for expensive gifts.

Items such as personal computers, expensive electronics, silverware, guns, furs, stamp or coin collections, fine art and jewelry may have limitations on the types of loss, theft or damage for which they are covered.

So, what can you do?

Consider personal property endorsements and floaters.

Unlike a standard homeowner’s policy, with personal property endorsements and floaters you can specify a higher amount. With a personal articles floater, your jewelry, for instance, can be covered at full value, with no deductible, based on current appraisal or the bill of sale. Additionally, floaters cover other instances of loss, such as dropping a ring down the drain or leaving your watch in a hotel.

Besides purchasing endorsements, it’s wise to have a home inventory of all your possessions, and keep it updated and current whenever you receive pricey gifts or make big purchases.


Save receipts, serial numbers and dates of purchases of major items; appraise jewelry and fine art at least every couple of years, to ensure their value has not changed over time.

Start your home inventory by listing all of your major belongings and furnishings; add a brief description, any serial numbers and any receipts or appraisals. Back up this list with photos or a video; photograph every wall of every room, and inside closets and cabinets. Add verbal comments to your video.

Next, consider storing items of particular value in a safe place, such as a heavy fireproof safe or safe-deposit box. Finally, remember to update this inventory whenever needed.

Go over your property insurance policy with your agent to be sure it provides appropriate coverage for the total value of items on your inventory.

What about the pricey gifts sitting in your car while you’re shopping, etc.?

Items stolen from your car are not covered by the regular auto insurance policy, but may be covered, subject to a deductible, under your homeowner’s or renter’s policy. The exception would be when limited under the conditions mentioned above.

This holiday season, be merry, enjoy your gifts, and have a peace of mind – by taking steps to get adequately insured and covered!

 When searching for reliable insurance agencies in or around Lancaster PA – trust Ross Insurance Agency for all of your property insurance needs.

Contact Ross Insurance Agency today to see how we can tailor the exact policy you need at a competitive price.