Those who suffer a property loss that involves personal property may face a situation involving loss or damage to family heirlooms such as jewelry, artwork, china, antiques, collectibles, or other sentimental items handed down from generation to generation. The issue when filing a claim with your insurance carrier becomes how is this particular item valued? Many insureds have no idea of the market value of the particular items because to them these heirlooms are priceless.

We counsel our clients to regularly read their insurance policies so they understand the coverage in place. It is possible that some personal property items such as jewelry may not be covered under your homeowners policy, or the items are only insured up to a certain dollar limit, for example $1,000.

Reviewing your policy now with your agent will help you avoid any gaps in coverage. Along with reviewing your policy, you should take preventative measures to obtain an appraisal of the family heirlooms so you are aware of their value if faced with a loss. While a family heirloom may seem irreplaceable to you, coverage is available.

To determine an item’s value, you will want to select an appraiser that specializes in the type of item you have. Make sure do your due diligence on the appraiser’s background, their reputation in the industry, and any certifications they have. An appraiser will consider the age, uniqueness and condition of the items and determine a value. After you have the appraisal, you are ready to go back to your agent and discuss the dollar amount of coverage for your heirloom and insure it. This will give you the peace of mind that you are covered in the unfortunate event of a loss.