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Have Expensive Personal Property and Valuables? Here's Why You Need an Insurance Rider

Sept. 17, 2019
5 mins
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That sparkling engagement ring or the precious jewels that you inherited. Your baseball or stamp collection. If you have home insurance, you might think all your personality property is completely insured. However, home insurance policies might not cover the “full” value of your prized possessions. You might need an insurance rider to cover the replacement value.

What’s Included in a Typical Home Insurance Policy

When you set up a home insurance policy, you might have questions or concerns about what’s covered versus what isn’t. It’s always helpful to read the inclusions and exclusions before purchasing an insurance policy. That way you won’t have to worry if you need to file a claim for damages.

Most home insurance policies include a few basic coverages

These include:

  • Coverage for any damages or losses to your home and any external buildings on your property (a shed, garage)
  • Coverage for damages, losses or thefts of your personal property (all your belongings)
  • Living expenses if you are displaced due to damages
  • Coverage for personal liability and to cover damages if someone else is injured on your property
  • Coverage if you damage property that belongs to someone else

There are also items that may not be covered by insurance.

What’s not usually covered by a home insurance policy

A few items are not included in a standard insurance policy.

These include:

  • Losses or damages that result from general “wear and tear”. An example is an item that breaks down due to lack of maintenance.
  • Mould damage might also not be included in a standard policy.

What’s Covered but Might Require a Separate Insurance Rider

An insurance rider, also referred to as an endorsement or personal articles floater, is add-on coverage to your policy. It can help to ensure you receive the full value of an item and not just costs for a replacement.

Let’s say you have a new mountain or road bike that costs $1,100 and you add a new suspension, shock and brakes to it. Then you add other specialized equipment. If it’s lost or stolen, the replacement value might be an equivalent new bike. However, the full value will be everything that you added to the bike including what you paid for in labor costs. Saving your receipts is important when setting up insurance riders.

A Cap/Limit on Valuables

Generally speaking, with any valuables that you own, you might want to take out a separate insurance rider. Insurance can vary with reimbursements. One insurer might only reimburse you up to $1,500 if your jewels are stolen. While another insurer might offer $6,000 total for stolen or damaged jewellery with a $4,000 cap per item.

Items you might want to start a separate rider on might include:

  • Artwork: Insurance can vary but coverage limits might be higher than with jewellery.
  • Bikes: Insurance can vary and might include a $2,000 limit or cap.
  • Business equipment: If you have a home office, insurance may not adequately cover all software, laptops, printers, and supplies.
  • Currency and precious metals: Insurance can vary and you may want a rider if you have banknotes or any silver, gold or other precious metals in your collection.
  • Furs and jewellery: Insurance can vary and might include a $5,000 limit for all items combined.
  • Gun collections: Insurance can vary and might include a $3,000 limit or cap.
  • Oriental rugs: Insurance can vary and might include a $5,000 to $10,000 limit. If your rugs are more expensive, take out a rider.
  • Sports cards and sports memorabilia: Insurance can vary and might include a $2,000 limit on general collections and a $3,000 limit on collectible cards.
  • Stamp collections: Insurance can vary and might include a $3,000 limit or cap.
  • Watersports equipment like jet skis: Insurance can vary and might include a $2,000 to $4,000 limit or cap.

Other items you might want to insure with a rider

Depending on the value of the items in your home, there are other items that you might want to insure with a separate rider.

These include:

  • Cameras and high-end lenses
  • China, flatware, dinnerware and crystal
  • Musical instruments
  • Recording and stereo equipment
  • Sporting equipment
  • Tools
  • Trophies

Inventory Your Belongings

It’s helpful to take a personal inventory of all your belongings. Take pictures and record video of the property you own and include all serial numbers on electronics. And, save all your receipts. Digitally store this information so that you can access it.

Your inventory and receipts can help with any items that are damaged, lost or stolen. For example, if your artwork is damaged in a fire, you can show “before and after” images to help substantiate your claim.

Note: If you find that your home insurance company quotes are too high for an insurance rider, shop online for home insurance. By comparing quotes, you can find coverage that’s affordable to protect all of your possessions.

Protect Your Precious Belongings and Valuables

Because home insurance might have a coverage cap or limit, taking out a separate insurance rider can help with replacing items that are lost, stolen or damaged. Take an inventory of all your belongings and then decide which valuables will require a rider. When you receive your current home insurance provider’s quote, shop online for home insurance to compare the rates. You might find a cheaper policy that can help you protect all your belongings. To shop for insurance, visit

With, you can compare insurance quotes from Canada’s leading insurance companies and you can safeguard your valuables.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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