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Help Protect Your Valuable Personal Property


In the big scheme of life, value often lies in the little things.

Renters or homeowners insurance policies will provide some protection for some items that are stolen or damaged by weather or fire. But sometimes, they don't fully cover the loss of other often sentimental treasures such as an engagement ring, fine art or that crystal vase from your grandmother.

Valuable personal property insurance coverage can help insure certain treasures, says Jenny Pobanz, Valuable Personal Property product director at USAA.

If silver serving pieces are stolen, they may be subject to a deductible under your homeowners or renters insurance policy. In addition, such policies may put a dollar limit on many of these items.

Valuable personal property insurance, however, offers replacement cost coverage for an item -- with no deductible. And coverage usually isn't restricted to natural disasters and theft. If a stone falls out of an engagement ring or you lose the pocket watch handed down from your grandfather, those losses typically are covered.

"There is a myth that VPP coverage is expensive because items many try to insure are expensive. The value you get from the policy -- for the price you pay -- is a steal," says Pobanz.

5 Steps: Make the Most of Your Protection

  • Know the requirements. Most insurance companies that offer valuable personal property insurance require that you carry a homeowners or renters policy.
  • Check current coverage. Before purchasing an additional policy, review what's covered in your homeowners or renters policy.
  • Update appraisals. Keep appraisals current (at least every five years) and notify your insurance company if the value changes. Appraisals should be performed by a certified professional appraiser with expertise and credentials for the item you are insuring.
  • Document. Document. Document. Proof of ownership is required upon reporting a loss. Keep receipts, photos, appraisals, financial statements, and repair/cleaning bills.
  • Details matter. Provide a full description of each item. For example, diamond ring descriptions should include cut, clarity, carat, color, number and measurements of the diamonds, and the type of gold.

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USAA, a diversified financial services organization, is the leading provider of competitively priced financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their eligible families. Rated among the highest among financial services companies for customer advocacy in a Forrester Research survey, USAA provides convenient and accessible financial products to its more than 9 million members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit

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