“You Ruined My Piano”


Ah, the Christmas parties will soon be in full swing and the crowds will be in your living room feeling no pain from the wine and spirits that go with celebrating the season. Sure enough there is that particularly clumsy inebriated guest that admires your piano and then proceeds to spill his wine all over the felt hammers and into the guts of the instrument – staining the sounding board and making a general mess. After you ask him to leave and never come back, you ponder over the repair. Most homeowner polices provide coverage for contents but not for something like this since most policies are written on a  “named perils” basis-and there is no peril listed for spilled wine. Named perils would include fire, theft, smoke, vandalism and several other possible calamities but not the actions of your obnoxious guest. You can expand coverage for contents to “all risk” which would cover this incident but there is another problem-the deductible.  If the piano had been “scheduled” on a special valuable items  “floater” all would be forgiven since the restoration would be fully covered – with no deductible. There may be several items of fine art that are vulnerable to off beat losses. I had a client that had a vascular problem and one of his blood vessels ruptured – damaging his oriental rug. Fortunately he survived the incident and also, happily, the rug was scheduled. Certainly items that have restrictive sublimits in a homeowner policy like jewelry, silver, and other singular items should be scheduled. Those that are not subject to a sublimit should also be considered for the reasons discussed in this article. The season will be especially jolly and you won’t have to stand guard over your precious furniture and keepsakes if you have the proper coverage.

The author of this blog, Guy Hatfield CPCU CIC, can be reached at 203.256.5660.




If you want to keep the raindrops from falling on your head you will need an umbrella. If you want to protect against a deluge of financial disaster, you should consider an insurance umbrella. The insurance concept of an  ”umbrella” has been used loosely over the years. Some think it is some kind of comprehensive omnibus insurance document that covers just about everything. In truth, the umbrella is a policy that provides excess liability over other policies. For personal insurance matters, the umbrella gives extra liability over your home, autos, boats, vacation homes, and any other eligible assets. There are also umbrellas for businesses and corporations which tend to be much more expensive since the exposures can be significant. Personal umbrellas come in increments of 1,000,000. If you have a house and 2 cars, you can expect to pay about $300 for a 1,000,000 umbrella. The excess coverage provided by an umbrella will not kick in until the “underlying” (home, auto, etc.) policies pay out to their limit. There is a specified requirement of coverage necessary before the umbrella will respond. For homes and autos that requirement is usually 300,000. The umbrella will start responding once the 300,000 is expended. Umbrellas often provide some extra coverage not usually found in the underlying policies. For instance, most personal umbrellas will provide excess liability if you rent a vehicle overseas. The underlying auto policy does not provide this coverage. Not all umbrellas are the same so it is important to check with your insurance professional as to what is and what is not covered. All your relatives living in the household, whether you like them or not, are insureds and protected under this grand parasol of coverage.

The author of this blog, Guy Hatfield CPCU CIC, can be reached at 203.256.5660.

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