2020 has been a hard year for many, and there are certainly many reasons to not feel the Christmas spirit — it may have born a few extra Grinchs this year. If the Grinch really did steal your Christmas, would your home insurance cover replacing all those gifts and decor? Probably! Furry green burglars are abundant this holiday season; we recommend brushing up on your home insurance policy just in case.
The short answer — yes, but you’ll need evidence.
Christmas presents and holiday decorations technically count as your possession and are likely covered under the personal property portion of your home insurance. Mark Varnas, Analyst and Founder of Red9, confirmed this, “Regardless of whether the possession is intended as a gift, it is a possession and will be covered as such. Same with your decorations outside.”
Possessions are possessions at the end of the day, regardless of how new they are or what they’re intended for. Troy Harmom, a licensed insurance agent, told us that even gifts for you under the tree that someone else gave can count as contents covered, “Coverage doesn’t stop there. If the Grinch likes your tree, blinking lights and the wreath on your door and decides to take these decorations too, they are covered under the same little content clause in your homeowners policy.”
[ Read: The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies]
If a grouchy burglar steals your presents or Christmas decorations, your home insurance will likely reimburse you. However, you will need the typical evidence of theft. John S. Williams, an agent of record for Farmers Insurance in Colleyville, Texas, told us that “Many items are not covered for mysterious disappearance. So, if you leave the front door unlocked, someone comes in and steals all of your presents with no sign of forced entry, no sign of someone else being there when they should have been, you’re out of luck.”
If your holiday break brain causes you to leave a door unlocked or a window open, your insurance may not cover the resulting burglary. A doorbell camera or other signs of forced entry may be important evidence in catching a Grinch.
Your insurer is Scrooge, not Santa — coverage limits count.
Insurance companies aren’t in the business of generosity; they’re known to be stingy with their payouts. As such, your policy will have coverage limits for the possessions you claim stolen.
[ Read: What Is Personal Property Insurance? ]
Williams explained that policy limits might apply to individual items or categories, “For example, You can have $80,000 of personal property coverage on your homeowners/renters policy, but if someone steals a diamond bracelet out from under the tree you might only get $1,000 because jewelry falls under special limits on policies. If you have items that exceed the epical limits, you have the option of scheduling them or adding a rider. This is a great idea because it is generally pretty affordable and will actually pay for mysterious disappearance.”
You may find limits on other high-value items like electronics and musical instruments, etc. The most sure-fire way to be reimbursed is to have an inventory of belongings and receipts. Harmon echoed this, “When it comes to big-ticket items like electronics or jewelry — it’s best to keep your receipts. Insurance companies really do appreciate receipts and documentation when it comes to settling claims.”
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