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Thursday, June 3, 2021

What's So Special About Specialty Insurance?

 By Catherine Powell

Image courtesy Pixabay

Insurance is a wonderful way to protect you, your loved ones, and your property from high-risk situations.  Worried about losing your belongings to a burglar a house fire, a storm or a lawsuit that occurs when a guest falls down your stairs?  Homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover these losses.  Do you lose sleep wondering what would happen if you woke up tomorrow only to discover your prized roadster had been vandalized or stolen by thieves in the night?  Auto insurance can help you either get your car looking like new, or help you buy a new one.  While basic insurance can take the sting out of everything that can happen should you rent a room or own a business, there are times when the things you want to protect fall outside the range of common insurance products.  That’s when specialty insurance can be used to bridge the gap.  Below are ten examples of specialty insurance products that can help you cover the things you love and/or fear most.

  1. Planes, Cranes & Automobiles – If you own a small plane or a classic car, you may find that you need specialty insurance to cover the loss or damage to either of them.  If you decide to do a little DIY landscaping that requires you to rent a crane or a backhoe, don’t assume your homeowner’s insurance is going to cover construction equipment should a tree come crashing down on either.  Before you put down a deposit on equipment or purchase anything with wings or tailfins, talk to your insurance agent about specialty coverage that will best suit your needs.
  2. Has your ship come in or have you missed the boat? – Not only doesn’t it take a captain’s license to own a boat in Florida, it doesn’t even require insurance.  This leaves skippers to shoulder the liability should their vessel sink, collide with another boat, be stolen from the dock or injure crew members or passengers.  Before you set sail on your dream boat, make sure you understand the risk to you and your assets before a watery mishap finds you walking the plank in court.
  3. Baubles, Bangles & Beads – If you own a jewelry collection that could make Lady Gaga gaga, consider having them appraised and insured for loss.  This way if any of your baubles should go missing or your entire collection were to be stolen by a cat burglar, you won’t be left holding the bag.  Typical homeowner’s insurance policies have strict limits on valuables such as jewelry, works of art and collectibles.  If you want to rest easy that these items are protected from loss due to fire, theft or acts of God, you need to get them appraised and insured.
  4. The wedding is off! – If you want to make sure that you won’t be left in the lurch at the altar, there’s a policy for just that.  To protect you from the possibility of being stuck with the cost of a wedding and catering that never takes place, there’s coverage referred to as Wedding Insurance that can kick in to pick up the tab.  The only proviso is that the coverage can only be had by the party or parties that paid for the wedding, such as the bride or groom’s parents. Additionally, some policies cover the cost of the cancellation of the couple’s honeymoon or even the last-minute cancellation of an event due to a natural disaster, a personal tragedy or a death in the family.
  5. Key Person Insurance – If you or one of your employees or partners is so vital to the success of your business that their loss would represent a hardship were they to jump ship or die, there’s a type of specialty insurance that’s designed to help replace them.  Key Person policies pay off in a lump sum to give a business the means to sustain the loss of someone who played a key role in keeping the profits rolling in.  The payment can be used to find or train a replacement to keep your ship of commerce sailing along.
  6. Hole-in-one insurance? – If you’ve ever entered a pro-am golf tournament where a sponsor put up a prize like a luxury car for any lucky golfer who managed to sink a hole-in-one on a specified hole, you may not have realized that the sponsor undoubtedly took out a hole-in-one policy on the off chance that some lucky duffer managed to score an ace.  What’s even better for the sponsor of this and other tournament prizes is that the premiums are quite low due to the high odds of anyone being able to cash in.
  7. Kidnapping and Ransom Policies – Known as K&R policies in the industry, this kind of coverage was previously only available to wealthy individuals and high-profile employees of major firms.  However, some insurers have started to offer K&R policies to small businesses and even individuals who wish to travel abroad.  Should an insured client be detained, kidnapped or extorted while on foreign soil, the policy is designed to reimburse the organization or family members for any ransom and expenses up to the limit of the policy incurred to free the policyholder.  
  8. Bedbug Insurance – While homeowners’ policies are comprehensive, they don’t cover everything.  One of the things that are excluded is infestation.  Since it can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to rid a home of bedbugs, you may wish to consider acquiring bedbug coverage, especially if you’re a frequent flyer. Once you add up the cost to treat your home and the possibility of being forced to toss out infested mattresses, box springs and bedding, adding this policy to your coverage will most definitely let you sleep better at night.
  9. Duck, Duck, Goose – While most people are content to have a dog, a cat, a parrot or a goldfish for a pet, there are those people who wish to have barnyard animals in their backyard.  If you have a yen for a hen, a pig, a horse or some other exotic livestock, you may wish to consider acquiring livestock insurance.  While common pet insurance policies are available to help a pet owner cover veterinary needs, only livestock insurance can help replace an exotic pet should one be stolen, struck by lightning, killed by predators, or burn up in a fire.
  10. ET Go Home! – Before you start laughing, let me point out the fact that an insurance carrier in London, England has to date sold more than 30,000 alien abduction policies.  If the insured were to suffer a close encounter of the third kind, the policy pays for medical or psychiatric care, loss of wages and other damages resulting from the abduction.  Of course, to collect a policyholder must offer proof that they were abducted by ET.

Catherine Powell is the owner of A Plus All Florida, Insurance in Orange Park, Florida.  To find out more about saving money on all your insurance needs, check out her website at

1 comment:

  1. Insurance is one of those products that you don't thnk you'll need until you REALLY need it.


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