Insuring specialty property

Reviewed by Daniel Mirkovic

Updated September 11, 2023

Your home insurance provides coverage for your contents (also called personal property). Within that coverage amount, most home insurance policies impose specific limits on the amount of coverage for certain types of property. These are called “special limits” of coverage that cap the maximum payable in the amount of a loss.

When it comes to specialty property insurance, make sure you know exactly what your policy covers. Here’s your guide to special property limits and home insurance.

A road bike

Property with special limits

Special limits apply to various categories of property. Exactly which categories depend on the insurer, but some of the most common specialty property categories include:

  • Jewellery and furs: including engagement rings, bracelets, watches, fur coats, etc.

  • Silverware: this usually refers to silverware above and beyond your basic, ordinary cutlery, including any flatware or table service made of silver or pewter, or any set that is ornate or valuable and not used for daily purposes, etc.

  • Sporting goods: including skis, tennis racquets, golf clubs and balls, snowshoes, etc.

  • Coin, stamp, and other collections.

  • Computers and cell phones.

  • Business property: including books, tools supplies and any other form of property that is used in connection with a source of income.

  • Watercraft: including kayaks, canoes, etc.

  • Cameras: including their accessories, lenses, tripods, filters, bags, batteries, chargers, memory cards, etc.

  • Bicycles: including their accessories, helmets, cycling computers, tools, etc.

  • Landscaping equipment: including lawn mowers, garden and landscaping tools, etc.

You should always read your home insurance policy to determine what kinds of property are subject to special limits like these, and compare those limits to the property that you actually own. Often, you’ll need to increase these sublimits (for an additional cost) to ensure that you’re fully protected for the replacement cost of all of your personal property.

Specialty property example

Let’s use jewellery as an example. Traditionally, home insurance policies include jewellery coverage by default—whether or not you need it. However, it will be subject to a limit.

Let’s say the jewellery limit is $6,000, and you have several jewellery items totalling $20,000. To have more than $6,000 in coverage, you’ll need to provide your insurer with appraisals for each piece of jewellery. Once they receive the appraisals, they’ll schedule each item on your policy, meaning listing each piece individually. If you don’t provide the appraisals and have the items scheduled, the most your policy will pay for jewellery is $6,000—leaving you thousands of dollars out of pocket.

How Square One is different

At Square One, we only give you jewellery coverage if you want it. If you don’t own any jewellery, you don’t need to pay to insure it.

If you do have jewellery, we offer blanket coverage for the total amount you choose. We don’t need appraisals, except for individual items valued over a specific limit. With Square One, you can choose exactly the amount of coverage that you need, eliminating unnecessary premium while ensuring that you don’t fall short in the event of a loss.

And it’s not just jewellery. We offer optional, flexible coverage for several categories of specialty property:

  • Bikes, sporting equipment + watercraft

  • Business property

  • Fine arts + collectibles

If you own things that fall into any of these categories, you can choose exactly how much insurance you need for them. Otherwise, you don’t have to pay for specialty property insurance at all.

Want to learn more? Visit our Home Insurance Basics resource centre for dozens of helpful articles to guide you through the ins and outs of home insurance. Or, get an online quote in under 5 minutes and find out how affordable personalized home insurance can be.

About the expert: Daniel Mirkovic

A co-founder of Square One with 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, Daniel was previously vice president of the insurance and travel divisions at the British Columbia Automobile Association. Daniel has a bachelor of commerce and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. He holds a Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) designation and a general insurance license level 3 in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.


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