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Insuring Your Home to Keep it Safe From Theft

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Buying a house can be a daunting part of the moving process, especially if it is your first time as a homeowner. Chances are you bought basic home insurance in order to receive a loan from a bank to afford your house. If you still have some particular concerns about theft, however, you should probably review your insurance policy and see just what is covered. You may want to buy additional insurance to protect your home and possessions from theft.

Home insurance discounts

Before you buy a particular type of home insurance you should see if you qualify for certain discounts. Each insurer offers different discounts, so remember to shop around. Here are some common ways you can qualify for discounts on your home insurance:
  • Monitored intruder alarms set up in your home
  • Smoke detectors already installed in your home
  • Being claims free in your past
  • You are a senior citizen
  • Your home is a certain age
  • You qualify for a "loyalty" discount because you have insured other things with the same company

Basic home insurance

Typical home insurance plans cover theft, fire, hail, and wind damage. There are multiple levels to all of this coverage and there are some exceptions to consider. If you are primarily concerned with theft, know that most home insurance plans will cover:
  • The house itself
  • All of the items within the property that you own (with some limits)
  • Items owned by your children/ legal dependents that are in the house

Limits on coverage

Certain items that can sometimes be expensive have coverage limits in most insurance plans. This means that there is a predetermined ceiling of how much money the insurance company will provide you if the item is stolen, despite it perhaps being more valuable than that amount. Not surprisingly, these more expensive items are also the most likely to be stolen. Some limited coverage items may be:

  • Computers
  • Software
  • Cash
  • Jewellry/watches
  • Furs
  • Sports Equipment
  • Bicycles
  • Valuable card or coin collections
  • Manuscripts
  • Art
If you want to insure any of these items for more than what the limit ceiling will allow, you will have to provide receipt of the items in question to the insurance company in order to receive replacement value in the event of a loss. 

You should keep the receipts and take photos of your more valuable possessions just like you should have before you moved them to your home. A well documented account of all your most valuable possessions along with visual evidence that they were in your home will help you immensely in filing an insurance claim should they be stolen or destroyed. In the case of theft, these photos could even help the items be identified and returned to you. You are making this documentation in the event that something catastrophic happens to your home, so it would not make sense to keep these things in your house, even if you use a safe. Try keeping these important documents in a safe deposit box at a bank or in a secure storage facility just in case your home gets ransacked or destroyed.

Not everything is covered

There are some things that are hardly ever covered by home insurance and there are things that you can do that will make you lose your coverage. Business equipment, for example, is only covered while it is in your home and usually with a $2000 limit. If you plan on working from home, you should notify the insurance company and have a plan designed that considers your house both your home and workplace. Here are some other things that usually are not covered in home insurance:
  • Merchandise that you are selling
  • The property of non-related people who live with you
  • Anything that you may have obtained illegally
  • Anything damaged or lost by an illegal activity you did
  • Anything damaged or lost due to your own negligence
It is a scary world out there and theft is a real thing to consider when moving in to a house. Luckily, most home insurance plans cover theft pretty well, and if you buy home security systems and keep a detailed inventory of your valuable items, you should be protected in case a thief comes lurking both physically and financially.

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on June 25, 2014 - Moving Expert
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