iStock_000032676780SmallYou’ve enjoyed a wonderful vacation. You just want a shower, time to unpack, and a few hours to unwind and get ready for the week.

The last thing on your mind is the crunch of broken glass at the back door. Someone broke in while you were gone and took almost everything of value.

It’s the worst feeling.

Until you contact your insurance provider.

Only then do you discover you weren’t covered. Not completely. Family jewelry wasn’t fully covered. Neither was your sports memorabilia. CDs you left in your other car weren’t either. And all of it’s gone. Could this be happening?

It can.

As a responsible homeowner, you purchased property insurance from a knowledgeable provider. That was smart.

But you admittedly know little about the extent of your coverage. What is actually covered? To what extent? And what isn’t covered at all?

Don’t wait until the unexpected to answer those questions. Begin your search for complete coverage. Ask about your personal valuables. And ask about natural disasters.

It’s likely one or more will happen to you.

About the Loss of Personal Valuables

1. Jewelry. Your jewelry, especially heirloom items, may be worth thousands. Chances are good, though, your policy limits loss coverage to only a portion of the value.

2. Collectibles. Without specific, additional coverage, the cost to replace any of your collectibles may be far greater than the investment you initially made.

3. Items Left In Your Vehicles. Because you like convenience, you kept most of your CDs in the car. If your vehicle is burglarized, that decision may prove to be very costly.

4. Watercraft. Like a couple of your neighbors, you’ve always parked your boat on the side of your home. Unless you bought specific coverage, you’re probably not covered against damage or loss.

5. Food Lost During a Power Outage. Winter is the perfect time to stock up on plenty of food for all kinds of celebrations and family gatherings. It’s also the most common season for lost power, meaning you could lose all that food, and it probably isn’t covered.

And the Concerns of the Natural World

6. Floods. It’s very likely your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover repair and replacement costs due to rising water in a flood.

7. Sewer backups. The thought of raw sewage in your home makes you sick. Like the feeling you’ll experience when you realize you’re not covered.

8. Termites. You probably knew this one. To protect your home, you’ll need to invest in a termite protection plan.

9. Earthquakes. The totally unforeseen and, at times, completely devastating effects of a major natural disaster may not be covered by your policy.

10. Fallen Trees. Unless it damages your home or vehicle, the high cost of removing a tree from your lot may be on you.

So, What Can Be Done?

Your insurer can provide you all kinds of options to address any or all of these concerns.

  • Purchase flood insurance
  • Secure termite protection for your home
  • Consider a comprehensive, or extensive, homeowners insurance policy
  • Add policy riders that separately insure costly and irreplaceable valuables
  • Purchase policies on your boats and other watercraft
  • Ahead of any loss, make an inventory of your possessions; make a video
  • Keep receipts; to affirm the extent of your investment, you may need them

Finally, and most importantly, talk with your agent. Ask specific questions. Learn what is covered, and to what extent. Find out what may not be covered by your policy, and close the loops.

You can’t prevent the unexpected. But you can protect yourself and your property from the consequences of unexpected loss.