Do I Need Insurance for (One of These Holiday Gifts)?

November 27, 2018

do you need insurance for a puppy or other present?It’s that time of year. Black Friday, Cyber Monday: all the big shopping days are here again. Before you start crossing items off your holiday gift list, make sure you know how certain big-ticket purchases could affect your insurance needs. Call your local agent today, if you find yourself asking: ummm, do I need insurance for…?

Do I Need Insurance for Jewelry?

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend… until they get lost, stolen, or fall out of their setting somewhere in the middle of a crowded airport. If you’re planning to buy an expensive piece of jewelry this holiday season (like an engagement ring!), request a review of your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Although most policies do cover jewelry to some extent, coverage limits may not be enough to fully replace a piece that is lost or stolen. Your coverage might also be limited to specific types of loss events—like a fire or a burglary in your home. If your expensive jewelry gets lost or broken under other circumstances, you may not have protection.

Luckily, you can often supplement standard property coverage for just a few extra dollars per month. So ask your local insurance agent about the process for appraising and protecting any sparkly items under your Christmas tree. While you’re at it, read these tips on how to create a home inventory. (Because jewelry isn’t the only valuable property you own.)

Do I Need Insurance for a Trampoline?

A backyard trampoline has a place on every kid’s holiday wish list. What could be more fun? Your insurance company could probably think of a million things that would be more fun—not to mention less of a risk. Annually, trampolines cause more than 100,000 injuries—including thousands of serious spinal cord injuries. And while your family might maintain strict safety rules (one jumper at a time, no flips, etc.), you can’t always control who is on your property and how they behave.

Depending on your insurance carrier, a new trampoline could mean limited liability coverage or no coverage at all. Buying a trampoline might even put you at risk of having your home insurance canceled. You’re obligated to inform your agent when you add a trampoline to your yard; we recommend calling beforehand, to make sure you know the terms and potential costs involved.

Do I Need Insurance for a Drone?

Drone sales have been soaring over the past few years (no pun intended), so it may not be a huge surprise to hear that your son, daughter, or spouse wants to pilot one in 2019. Before you get flying, however, you should be aware of how your new toy will affect your insurance. If your drone is strictly for personal use, certain loss events may be covered under the terms of our home insurance, such as if the drone is stolen or destroyed in a fire. However, if your drone is damaged because you flew it into a tree, your current homeowner’s policy probably won’t cover this.

As far as liability issues, most policies do provide some amount of liability protection. However, it’s not 100% guaranteed that you would be covered if your drone injured someone or damaged someone’s property. Again, your best bet is to check with your agent to be sure you understand drone insurance options, including all your current provisions and policy limits.

Do I Need Insurance for a New Dog?

From your kids’ perspective, the only thing better than getting snow on Christmas morning is getting a puppy to prance in it. But as parents (and as designated fun police), we know getting a dog constitutes a major, long-term decision. Puppies require round-the-clock care and supervision. They can make trouble and do serious damage. Insurance companies know this, too. Because although we like to think our little fur babies would never lash out, it does happen. In 2017, dog bites and injuries cost insurers almost $700 million. To put this into perspective, that equals one third of all homeowners’ liability claims paid out for the past year.

Your homeowner’s insurance policy kicks in if your dog causes someone else harm, so some companies have stricter rules when it comes to dog ownership. Every carrier is different when it comes to writing policies regarding pets, however. Some may refuse to insure you, others may simply raise your premium, some may only be concerned about “high risk” breeds (e.g. Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chows, Great Danes, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Malamutes, Huskies—a controversial list, to be sure).

Typically, when you first connect with an agent, he/she will ask whether you keep an animal in the house; its’s important to be honest when asked. If you adopt or buy a dog at some point mid-policy, you should alert your agent, who will likely send you a pet questionnaire to complete. Otherwise, if something ever does go wrong, your insurance company may drop your coverage or deny your claim.

Anything we forgot to mention? Wondering if you need insurance for something not on this list? Just give us a call: 508.339.2951