The holidays are over.  We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, digest the cookies and pies that we ate and start to think about 2016.  Chances are good that you, your family members, or your customers received a gift over the holidays.  Let’s look at a few ways to help insure those new toys and gadgets.

Emerald Coverage

Tower Hill’s Emerald and Emerald Deluxe endorsements provide increased special limits of liability for valuable classes of property, such as cash, jewelry, furs, firearms, and silverware.  They also broaden coverage from named perils to special perils.  If your customer has a small amount of valuable property (less than $5,000 aggregate) or wants blanket coverage, this might be their best option.

Scheduled Personal Property

For higher valued items for which the insured wants specific coverage, our Scheduled Personal Property endorsement should be considered.  There are several benefits to scheduling personal property, including:

  • There is no deductible if a loss occurs;
  • Coverage is broadened to “all-risk” coverage with certain exceptions listed in the endorsement;
  • Special limits of liability are removed;
  • Convenience of adding coverage to an existing policy vs. shopping around for an inland marine carrier;
  • Tower Hill Signature allows up to 5% of the total Coverage C limit for any one item of unscheduled personal property; scheduling will provide increased limits.

A few caveats:  Individual items exceeding $1,000 can be endorsed, subject to certain guidelines and classes of property. Any item over $5,000 must have an appraisal within the last three years or purchase receipt within the last year. We do not allow items scheduled at less than 100% replacement cost or coverage amounts of $4,999 to avoid the appraisal requirement.

Ineligible items:  While other inland marine carriers might offer coverage, we do not schedule items like computers, iPads/tablets, cell phones, medical devices (hearing aids, scooters), furniture (you know who you are, $7,000 couch from Pottery Barn), rugs, or rare books.

Specific rates for each class of property can be found in the manual. These rates apply per $100 of coverage. Also:

  • The maximum amount of any single item that an agent can schedule is $30,000.
  • The maximum amount of coverage for all jewelry or fur items is 20% of the Coverage C limit.
  • The total of all scheduled items cannot exceed more than 50% of the Coverage C limit.

Other Items

But hey, Insurance Geek, how are some common gifts covered on the base HO policy without any endorsements?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

Computers: TOWER HILL SIGNATURE – named peril coverage and a $2,500 special limit. (Home Computer Coverage endorsement broadens coverage to special perils, up to $20,000 for a scheduled item); ALL OTHER CARRIERS – named peril coverage and no special limit (the Special Computer Coverage endorsement broadens coverage to special perils).

TVs, DVD players, video game consoles: TOWER HILL SIGNATURE – named peril coverage and a $2,000 special limit for any individual item or set of equipment; ALL OTHER CARRIERS – named peril coverage and no special limit.

Bicycles:  TOWER HILL SIGNATURE – named peril coverage and a $1,000 special limit; ALL OTHER CARRIERS – named peril coverage and no special limit.

Legos, Star Wars toys, Elsa dolls, Minions, board games:  In this geek’s perfect world, these would be covered regardless of peril.  Alas, named peril coverage applies to all and they cannot be scheduled.

Happy New Year!

Brian Hunt, AIC, CPCU

About Brian Hunt, AIC, CPCU

Commercial Underwriter II
Tower Hill Insurance Group

Brian started his insurance career with State Farm in St. Paul, MN, in 1998. In addition to handling property and liability claims, he served as part of the National Catastrophe Team, following tornadoes, hurricanes, and hailstorms across the country. He made several friends named Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Ivan, Wilma, and Katrina. He moved to Florida in 2009 to manage a catastrophe office in Jacksonville, and because of a girl (now wife) his path led him to Gainesville and Tower Hill Insurance. In his free time, Brian is an Ironman triathlete and also enjoys writing about local and national history.