Most homeowner's policies cover theft, but your loss is may be reduced by policy sublimits. It is important that you understand each personal property limitation for a loss caused by theft. For instance, your policy may allow payment of $40,000.00 for a loss caused by fire to a gun collection, but that same policy may only allow $2,000.00 if the loss were caused by theft? Failure to grasp these limitations may bring undo regret and an unforeseen financial loss to the uninformed policyholder.
You should first realize there are special limits of liability for specific categories of personal property within most homeowner's policies. So what does this mean? The homeowner may have a Coverage C personal property policy limit of $165,000.00, but that does not mean all the personal property is covered for it full value for all types of loss. All policies contain some type of sublimit. Certain personal property items are grouped in categories, and those categories may contain a limit. Other personal property items contain no limit your loss is caused by theft. A sublimit is an amount or a cap on specific items or causes of loss on which the policy will not reimburse the policyholder for is full replacement cost value. For instance a HO 00 03 04 91 homeowner's policy contains the following sublimits:
Dollar limits Sublimits on Personal Property
• $200 on money, bank notes, bullion, gold other than goldware, silver other than silverware, platinum, coins, and medals.
• $1000 on securities, accounts, deeds, evidences of debt, letters of credit, notes other than bank notes, manuscripts, personal records, passports, tickets, and stamps. This dollar limit applies to these categories regardless of the medium (such as paper or computer software) on which the material exists. The limit includes the cost to research, replace or restore the information from the lost or damaged material.
• $1000 on watercraft, including their trailers, furnishings, equipment and outboard engines or motors.
• $1000 for trailers not used with watercraft.
• $250 on property, away from the "residence premises," used at any time or in any manner for any business purpose. However, this limit does not apply to loss to adaptable electronic apparatus as described in Special limits 10. and 11. below.
• $1000 for loss to electronic apparatus, while in or upon a motor vehicle or other motorized land conveyance, if the electronic apparatus is equipped to be operated by power from the electrical system of the vehicle or conveyance while retaining its capability of being operated by other sources of power. Electronic apparatus includes: Accessories or antennas; or tapes, wires, records, discs or other media; or use with any electronic apparatus.
• $1000 for loss to electronic apparatus, while not in or upon a motor vehicle or other motorized land conveyance, if the electronic apparatus is equipped to be operated by power from the electrical system of the vehicle or conveyance while retaining its capability of being operated by other sources of power, is away from the "residence premises" and is used as any time or in any manner for any business purpose. Electronic apparatus includes: Accessories or antennas; or tapes, wires, records, discs or other media; or use with any electronic apparatus. Dollar limits on Personal Property for loss of theft
The following are dollar values of the categories that apply only to theft and should be distinguished from some of the limitations above. It should be further stated that if a loss takes place other than theft, the categories and items that follow may only limited by the Coverage C policy limit.
Dollar limits Sublimits on Personal Property caused by Theft
• $1000 for loss of theft of jewelry, watches, furs, precious and semi- precious stones.
• $2000 for loss by theft of firearms.
• $2500 for loss by theft of silverware, silver-plated ware, goldware, gold-plated ware and pewterware. This includes flatware, hollowware, tea sets, trays and trophies made of or including silver, gold or pewter.
I invite you to search your policy and take notice of its sublimits. If you do not understand what I have written about you should speak with your insurance agent. Being warned is only half the battle. Taking additional precautions to cover what your policy does not makes you a wise homeowner.