Contents Insurance: Insure Valuables Properly

For several years, German citizens have been investing more and more in tangible assets such as watches, jewelery and precious metals. But where do Germans keep their valuables and how are they insured in case of theft?

In the case of jewelry and watches in particular, there is often a desire to store valuables at home. After all, who wants to drive to the bank just to change jewelry or a watch? And some gold owners prefer to store their precious metal in their own four walls for fear of access restrictions.

However, keeping it at home carries risks. The danger of robberies should not be underestimated. When it comes to protecting valuables stored at home, many people rely primarily on their existing home contents insurance without verifying it. In the case of a claim, unfortunately too often this turns out to be a mistake. Because when insuring valuables, certain special features must be observed.

prorated coverage

In principle, valuables such as cash, watches, jewellery, diamonds and precious metals are included in household insurance coverage. But there are several limitations.

First of all, valuables are not insured indefinitely as part of the sum insured, but are always limited as a percentage. As a general rule, the limit for insured valuables is 20% of the sum of the household goods insurance. The sum of household items insurance is usually set at a flat rate of EUR 650 per mtwo certain. An apartment with 100 mtwo would be insured with a flat rate of 65,000 euros. The part of the valuables would then amount to 13,000 euros. In addition, there is usually a maximum amount of around 20,000 EUR.

However, as part of the so-called premium concepts, some insurers also offer higher sums or fees. The ratio of valuables can be increased by up to 50%. In exchange for these increases, the insurer usually requires that the security standards in the house and apartment be improved. Depending on the number of valuables, this may mean installing additional window locks or even purchasing a safe and burglar alarm system.

Underinsured and Underinsured Waiver

The sum insured for the contents of the home should definitely be high enough. In general, people tend to underestimate the value of all (!) household effects. In the event of damage, the trained adjuster recognizes very quickly if the sum insured has been set too low. The insurer can then reduce the damage as a percentage of the existing underinsurance.

It is not relevant to me, one or the other insured may think. After all, I have an underinsurance waiver clause in my contract. If such an agreement has been reached, the insurer waives a certain minimum sum insured per mtwo (currently mostly 650 euros) in case of underinsurance and reimburses damages up to the insured sum. However, if the damage exceeds the sum insured, the policyholder keeps the rest of the damage.

That’s why you shouldn’t just make the effort to determine a realistic sum insured for your home when you purchase household goods insurance. Rather, one should check the sum insured and the current contents value of the home at regular intervals. New acquisitions in particular add up over the years. And rising prices of valuables i. namely. R. clearly underestimated.

No one should shy away from the possible additional premium for adjustments corresponding to the sum insured. After all, the home goods division is one of the few insurance divisions that has gotten cheaper instead of more expensive in recent years. The additional premium for an additional insured capital of 10,000 euros is around 20 euros per year.

By the way: Although cash is covered by the valuables coverage in home goods insurance, there is usually a sum limit in the contracts. Even premium residential rates cover here i. namely. It is usually a maximum of 3,000-4,000 euros. By the way, this also applies to many insurers when it is stored in a safe!

storage

In addition to the correct sum insured, good parts must be stored in accordance with the contract. For example, many home insurance companies require that valuables, including watches and jewelry, be kept in a safe. This applies in particular to high-quality single items with an individual value of more than 5,000 euros.

But even if the jewelry is kept in a safe or a bank deposit box, this does not automatically mean that you are on the safe side. When it comes to storing at home, the insurer usually requires a safe with the appropriate security classes. Safes for a few hundred dollars from the hardware store or discount store next door often do not meet these security classes.

Consequently, the safe must be purchased at a specialized store, taking into account the conditions of the rate. If the security class is wrong, there is no insurance coverage if the worst happens.

At first glance, storing valuables in a safe deposit box seems like a cheaper alternative to having your own safe. However, more and more banks do not insure valuables stored in safe deposit boxes. And many home content plans don’t cover valuables stored in a bank safe deposit box under the standard plan.

For this reason, it is advisable to consult both the bank’s conditions for the safe and the home insurance coverage. After all, statistically speaking, a safe is not as secure as it might seem.

obligation to provide evidence

In case of theft, the burden of proof of the damage caused corresponds to the injured party. That is, the injured party must be able to demonstrate that he was in fact in possession of the gold coin, jewelry, watch, etc. Proof of purchase of the valuables can serve as proof. Therefore, this must be saved (securely). Ideally, not together with valuables, so thieves don’t steal the receipt.

It is also advisable to take additional photos of valuables. Especially for valuables that z. B. were inherited or for which proof of purchase is not (or is no longer) available. Ideally provided with proof of date and, in the case of precious metals, always with a recognizable serial number. In the case of equally expensive pieces of jewelery without an invoice, it is advisable to also obtain an appraisal from a jeweler or appraiser.

rate selection

Up to a household goods insurance sum of €250,000 (values ​​up to €50,000), standardized household goods rates can offer good coverage for valuables stored in the home. However, you should always pay attention to the individual clauses. These differ greatly in details. For example, some insurers offer the option to store up to €50,000 worth of valuables outside safes, while others set the limit at just €5,000.

The insurance market is very manageable for high-quality household items above the stated amount. If a provider is found for these high sums, ultimately you will no longer calculate according to the tariff, but mainly individually.

conclusion

If you have the relevant property, you should take the time to thoroughly check your home’s contents insurance coverage in the event of theft. For higher values ​​in particular, the types of coverage on the market differ considerably and sometimes offer significant hurdles and loopholes that can lead to a rude awakening in the event of a loss. If you do not want to do the Sisyphus task yourself, you can choose to go to a specialized and independent insurance broker.

eric altman

Insurance broker ALCON GmbH

Check out our magazines for more helpful insurance articles.

Photo by Rafael Classen rcphotostock.com by Pexels

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