When it comes to protecting your home and ensuring you’ve got the right insurance coverage, there are a number of areas that are easily overlooked in high-value homes.
Many high-end homes include unique upgrades—there is a big difference between marble tiles that you can find at the big-box retailers and custom-made marble tiles that are chosen for their colour and thickness from a quarry in Italy and flown overseas. The same goes for hardwood floors—if you have a rare or exotic hardwood that has to be imported, you will want to make sure that your insurance broker knows and includes that in your insurance policy. If you have a unique or expensive chandelier, you’ll want to let your broker know that as well, so that it is specifically included in your insurance policy.
You may spend years building and nurturing an extensive wine collection, waiting for that perfect moment to savour the fruits of your patience. But wine bottles can be easily broken, basements can flood and climate control systems can breakdown, all of which could ruin your wine. It’s not unusual for wine collections to run in the tens of thousands of dollars, but most standard home insurance policies don’t offer coverage for wine breakage or spoilage. Talk to your insurance broker to find out which insurers cover you for breakage and spoilage.
Whether a treasured family heirloom, a special gift from a loved one or something you’ve treated yourself to, jewelry is easily lost and an attractive target for thieves. Some home insurance policies only cover jewelry up to $5,000—talk to your insurance broker about ensuring you have the right coverage. You may have to have your collection appraised, but it is worth the peace of mind knowing that your prized collection can be replaced in the event of a loss.
Loss Control and Appraisals
Most high value insurers require an inspection of a high value home to ensure that the customer is adequately protected against potential losses and to secure an updated appraisal for the value of the home. Although this may seem to be an inconvenience, you can gain valuable insight by touring the home with the inspector. Specific feedback on a loose hand-railing on a staircase, or a washing machine hose that could leak into an adjacent home theatre, could help keep your family safe as well as preventing the aggravation of a future loss.
By Neal Muschett, director, Customer Experience, RSA Canada