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Valuables

Using your tax refund to buy something valuable? 5 things to do next.

In 2017, the IRS issued over 111 million tax refunds for a total of $323.8 billion dollars and an average of $2,895 per refund.1 In 2018, 62 percent of Americans anticipate receiving a tax refund from their the IRS or their state.2 If you’re one of these lucky ones, and have already used (or are planning to use) your refund to add a new piece of jewelry, fine art, wine, or another type of collectible to your home, here are a few things you’ll want to do next:

  1. Keep the paperwork

    When you’re purchasing a valuable item, like a piece of jewelry, a new painting or sculpture, or a bottle of fine wine, make sure you keep the receipt and any notes that include when the item was purchased and an accurate description of the item. Having that paperwork will make it much easier to get future appraisals.

  2. Talk with your insurance agent or broker

    Let your insurance agent or broker know that you now own a new valuable item and ask him or her what type of documentation is required for you to insure the piece.

  3. Ask about your coverage

    Your insurance agent or broker can tell you how much coverage is included with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, and what types of losses are covered. Many standard homeowner’s and renter’s policies provide minimum amounts of coverage, after a deductible is met. Many of these policies don’t provide coverage for items you lose.

  4. Get the protection you need

    If you don’t have it already, you may want to purchase a policy that specifically covers your valuables. The right policy could protect your new item and your other collectibles from a wide variety of losses, including theft, breakage, and “miscellaneous disappearance” (i.e. you lost it).

  5. Do what you can to keep it safe

    If possible, store your valuable item in a secure location such as a safe deposit box or special storage facility. Then, let your insurer know, because there may be “in vault” coverage that will allow you to pay less for the protection you need.

1 “Filing Season Statistics for Week Ending December 29, 2017,” IRS, https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/filing-season-statistics-for-week-ending-december-29-2017

2 “Survey: Most taxpayers plan to put their refunds toward smart financial goals,” Credit Karma, January 9, 2018, https://www.creditkarma.com/tax/i/tax-refund-spending-survey/

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