Are your wedding gifts insured?

Consumer Reports

The rice and bouquet have been tossed, the table centerpieces have been claimed, you've said your last farewells. Now you're on your way to honeymoon bliss. But who's looking out for the gifts? Are they protected while you're away? 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, a trade organization, if you have homeowners or renters insurance, those gifts are covered no matter where you store them. They're considered your personal property. If they're stolen, or damaged by fire or other covered perils (typically not including flood) insurance will replace them, minus the deductible. Even if you've stored gifts in your car, they're covered by your homeowners or rental policy, not your auto insurance

If for some reason you bring gifts along on your honeymoon, they're also covered by your homeowners or renters policy. Auto-rental companies may offer additional coverage for your possessions with a lower or no deductible, but your credit card may also offer that free. American Express, for instance, offers $1,000-per-person, $2,000-per-vehicle coverage for personal possessions if you use its Platinum or Delta Reserve card to pay for the entire rental. 

What if you're storing your gifts in someone else's home or you've asked a neighbor to receive deliveries while you're away? You'd tap your own homeowners or renters policy first before claiming through your neighbor's policy, says an III spokeswoman, Jeanne Salvatore.

Visit our Insurance Center for Ratings of homeowners insurance and auto insurance, and advice on buying wedding insurance.

A typical homeowners policy pays up to 10 percent of the coverage on your home to replace your personal possessions. Renters coverage only covers your possessions. Salvatore says there's no limit to how much rental insurance you can purchase. So if you are storing a lot of gifts in your apartment, consider buying more before you take off for paradise.

Here are additional insurance tips for newlyweds.

  • Deposit cash and checks immediately. Store bonds, gift cards, and gift certificates you won't be using right away in a safe or safe-deposit box.
  • As soon as you're able, inventory your possessions, new and old. The Insurance Information Institute offers a free tool to help. An updated home inventory is your best friend in the event of a disaster.
  • Consider purchasing a rider for high-value items such as silver.
  • Take some time after you've settled in back home to review all your insurance coverages and your beneficiary designations. If you're merging two households, you'll need a different level of coverage. And if you're young, your new married status might make you eligible for a lower auto premium.

Just one of the many benefits of marriage.

—Tobie Stanger



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