Think you’ve found the perfect gift? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Think you’ve found the perfect gift?

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Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010 4:00 pm

As consumers make their gift-giving lists, they may want to check them twice and heed certain advice before making certain popular purchases. While puppies, jewelry, expensive electronics or trampolines are sure to delight, shoppers often overlook the impact these gifts may have on the recipient's homeowner's or renter's insurance policy.

Certain toys or dog breeds may be excluded from your homeowner's insurance, raise your premiums or even prevent you from getting coverage from some companies. Therefore, AAA Insurance recommends that consumers consult their insurance agent before buying the following items to determine how they will affect their homeowner's or renter's policy:

Trampolines. Insurers view outdoor trampolines as a major personal injury risk. Depending on your insurance provider, your liability coverage for injuries caused by the trampoline may be excluded from the policy. Alternatively, you may be charged a higher premium for coverage or denied coverage entirely.

Certain breeds of dog. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 800,000 dog bites result in injuries requiring medical attention each year, and half of those bites occur on the dog owner's property.

Therefore, many insurance companies will exclude breeds such as pit bulls, Rottweilers and other breeds viewed as high risk from a homeowner's policy, leaving owners financially responsible for their dog's behavior.

As with trampolines, certain dog breeds could also raise insurance rates or prevent coverage altogether.

Fine jewelry, electronics, art or collectibles. Luxury items are not commonly excluded from homeowner's or renter's policies, but they are only covered up to a certain value, and rarely to the full appraised value of the item.

Contact your insurance provider to place high-value items on a "schedule" - or specifically list the item on your insurance policy - or purchase personal property insurance to protect the full value of that necklace, television, painting or stamp collection.

By following this advice before making big purchases, consumers can minimize any unwanted holiday surprises.

Linda Gorman is communications and public affairs director for AAA Arizona. Reach her at (602) 650.2716 or

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