At the beginning of any job, I always ask the homeowner if they have any riders on their homeowner’s policy. You need to know if they do, as it will affect how you handle those items. It also raises your liability while handling those items that are covered by the rider, so you should charge more for storing, moving, packing and cleaning them than you would for other items on the policy.
A rider is a provision of an insurance policy that is purchased separately from the basic policy and that provides additional benefits at additional cost. This means that such items have different coverage from the items that are covered under just the basic homeowner’s policy.
Usually, if there is a rider on any particular item, it is because that item is of very high value, so the processing of such items would be given higher priority in the handling process. Most often the homeowner will have a professional appraisal of the items on the rider and you should ask for a copy for your records. Depending on the type of item, you may need to bring in a specialty contractor to help you with the moving, repairing and/or cleaning of them.
For example, a grandfather clock worth $20,000 would need to be handled by a professional mover that knows how to move it without damaging the working mechanisms of the internal clock. If you move it without properly taking it apart first, you could be making a very expensive mistake.
You may also be asked by the insurance company to bill for these items on a separate invoice, as it is technically a different policy. Always talk with your adjuster on the claim about the rider and make sure that you are both on the same page as far as the handling of the contents involved on that part of the policy.
Have a question for Annissa? E-mail her at Annissa@firehouseeducation.com.