How insurance riders work and when to add one

Adding a rider often involves an appraisal or detailed description of the item and will raise the price of your policy. Coverage details and requirements will vary with different insurers. Long story short: If you have expensive items you want to properly insure, you’ll likely need to add a rider to your home, condo, or renters policy. Scheduling an item can be worth the cost, because it usually means paying just a tiny bit extra on your policy to cover an item that has tremendous value to you.

Taking a home inventory, from time to time, can be beneficial even if you think you’re well-covered. You might be surprised by what you’ll find after taking stock of everything you own.

How to add an insurance rider

Current Progressive customers

Call 866-749-7436 and tell a representative about your special item.

Non Progressive customers

Just get an insurance quote and we’ll ask about certain expensive items. Keep in mind, if you have items we don’t ask about, you’ll need to let us know what you want to insure.

At ASI, a home insurer in Progressive’s network and part of our network of companies, any item worth over $5,000 needs an appraisal and a color photo. For items less than $5,000, you’ll be asked to provide a detailed description of the item. Other home insurance companies in Progressive’s network may have different requirements.

Benefits of adding an insurance rider

Increased coverage: Most home insurance policies contain “sublimits.” A sublimit is essentially a limit within a limit. For example, you may have a $100,000 limit in personal property coverage for your belongings. But your limit on jewelry may be $2,500. That means if your piece is worth $7,000 and you don’t add a rider for it, your insurance company won’t pay out more than $2,500 on a claim involving that item.

Low or no deductibles: Your personal property coverage may have a high deductible. Riders, though, often have low deductibles or none at all. Let’s say you have a musical instrument worth $3,000, and it’s stolen. If your property deductible is $2,000, then you’ll only receive $1,000 on an insurance claim. But, if you added a rider for that instrument and the rider deductible is $50, then your insurance payout would be $2,950.

Accidental loss coverage: Many basic insurance policies won’t protect you against loss by “mysterious disappearance.” That means if you accidentally lost your wedding ring at the gym, you may not be covered. However, had you scheduled the ring, you would be covered even in the “mysterious disappearance” scenario.

Commonly scheduled items

  • Jewelry: Wedding and engagement rings, plus necklaces, watches, earrings, and diamond-anythings, etc. It’s always a good idea to add items with jewels, gems, and precious stones. Remember, you’ll likely need to add each individual piece as a rider.
  • Personal collections: From fine art to coins and stamps, regardless of the value, a rider can safeguard your collections or memorabilia.
  • Specialty items: Bicycles, cameras and projection equipment, musical instruments, firearms, and any other notable possessions.

Cost of adding a rider

The price for a rider will vary based on the item, appraised value, and the company you buy from. Overall, riders can be affordable. Jewelry can be scheduled at many insurers for about $1.50 ­­– $2 for every $100 (or 1.5 – 2%). That means a $5,000 piece would cost around $75 to $100 per policy.

Collectibles are less expensive to insure. At ASI, you can schedule a stamp collection for 80 cents for every $100 (or 0.8%). So, a $5,000 collection would cost $40.