Insurance Add-Ons: Making The Policy Fit The Customer

One of the most confusing aspects of buying home insurance is the issue of add-ons. Add-ons are small additional riders that are attached to your main policy and they can cover an array of different potential losses. Most likely, your insurance agent will bring the subject up and offer to sell you different add-ons that he or she thinks might interest you, depending on your situation. The only problem with the add-ons is that they also add onto your final monthly bill, which can end up being more than you want to pay. Are add-ons worth it? Here are some things to consider.

An Electronics Rider

How many electronics do you have around your house? If you have one desktop and the entire family uses it, you probably don't need the additional investment to cover a damaged or destroyed computer. On the other hand, if you have one laptop for every member of the household and two of them are pricey gaming computers, plus an Xbox and a Wii U, and a variety of tablets, e-readers, and handheld gaming systems, an electronics rider might really be worth the nominal amount that it adds to your policy. One lightening strike in the wrong place and time could actually wipe out half of the electronics you own at once, making it difficult to afford their replacements.

A Firearms Rider

About 1.4 million firearms were stolen from homes in just the six-year period from 2005 through 2010. That averages out to about 232,400 firearms stolen each year. If you keep a simple handgun, a firearms rider probably isn't worth the investment because the replacement cost isn't likely to exceed your deductible. On the other hand, if you have a collection of weapons that you keep at home or you have expensive rifles that you use in hunting season, you may have several thousands of dollars worth of easy-to-pawn or sell weapons just sitting there to steal. Firearms aren't typically covered under your regular household insurance for their full value, so a rider could be a worthwhile investment.

An Art Collections Or Collectable Rider

This can be a broad category, but if you have an art collection or a collection of something that has value—like antique teapots, for example—talk to your insurance agent about a rider that will add additional coverage for your collection. The amount that your homeowner's policy actually covers may be far less than the collection is worth. You may be able to estimate the value in order to get the rider or you may have to have an appraisal done to get the rider added.

Insurance riders are all about customization and making the insurance policy fit the customer. Don't hesitate to discuss your particular concerns with an insurance agent, like one from Reinhardt's Insurance Agency, in order to see what riders will work best for you.