Allstate reminds Canadians to appraise and protect valuable belongings

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Toronto (Oct. 23, 2012) — Attention fashionistas, road warriors or other collectors: have you properly protected your vintage Gucci dress, high-end bicycle or heirloom watch against theft or damage? In some cases, home insurance policies limit coverage on certain items such as bicycles, pieces of jewelry or watches either to a per-item maximum or a total for all items. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada advises that collectors may need to take extra steps to ensure their costly items are insured against a loss.

“There are items that are rare or expensive that need protection beyond the coverage available in a typical policy,” says Karen Benner of Allstate Canada. “If you own a Tag Heuer watch for example, you should consider getting an appraisal and might want to add a Personal Article Floater (PAF) to an existing policy to protect its full value in case it is lost, stolen or damaged.”

Contents coverage on homeowner policies will cover 70 per cent of what is designated under a policy’s Replacement Value of the dwelling (e.g., if a home policy’s value is determined to be $100,000, then the total contents limit under that policy would be $70,000).This is usually enough to replace all belongings in a home and is based on the kind of belongings owned by the average homeowner, but in some special cases consumers may wish to purchase additional coverage where limits on certain categories apply.

It makes sense then for keen hobbyists, collectors and sports enthusiasts to review the contents coverage of their homeowner policy as their collections grow and make additional provisions where necessary:

Jewelry collectors

An appraisal of valuable jewelry is key to recovering the full value of items in the event of theft or loss. Under a PAF policy, most companies will cover the item up to the appraised amount or replacement cost, whichever is less.

Sports enthusiasts

Equipment for sports such as biking, golf and skiing can be quite costly and homeowners could benefit from a stand-alone insurance policy for items related to these pastimes. Many insurance companies offer sport specific packages for golf, hockey, skis and snowboards, for example, which covers for loss or damage to the equipment and reimbursement of membership fees if ill or injured. For bicycles, many homeowner policies will have a limit on the value of the bike that can be covered. Bicycles that are worth more than this limit can be covered against theft or damage by adding a PAF policy. Tips on how to keep sporting goods like ski and snowboard equipment safe and other insurance advice can be found at goodhandsadvice.ca.

Fashion, musical instruments and other expensive items

A closet full of designer couture is a large investment and will usually be covered under a homeowner’s policy. However, Allstate Canada recommends that the most expensive items be appraised by an expert and if a person collects furs, they should consider a PAF. Clothing collectors should also contact their insurance agent to discuss limits to coverage and consider extending existing home or contents insurance policies to cover these items. If someone collects vintage guitars or other instruments, an appraisal is also recommended. Professional musicians in particular should speak to an insurance agent to find out about special policies that relate to their work.

Allstate Canada offers a homeowners checklist and recommends that collectors, jocks and the musically inclined take a full inventory of valuable possessions by documenting all items. This will help them decide if additional insurance is needed. Talk to an insurance agent for helpful advice on how to best protect your most treasured belongings.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products. “The Good Hands Network�” enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 83 community-based Agencies, directly online at www.allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates. This year, Allstate Canada celebrates 25 years of partnership with MADD Canada in the effort to protect us all from impaired driving. In 2010, Allstate Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), created the Allstate All-Canadians program, a mentorship program designed to create future community leaders through the sport of hockey. Learn more about this program at www.allcanadians.com. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.allstate.ca.