How does personal property coverage work?
Personal property insurance coverage protects your belongings against fire, theft, and other covered perils outlined in your policy. There are two types of loss settlement for your personal property: replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost covers the cost to buy the item as new at the time of the claim. Actual cash value reimburses you the replacement cost of the item minus depreciation.
The amount of personal property coverage that you are able to select may vary based on the type of property insurance you have:
Your policy will typically include 50% of your dwelling coverage for personal property coverage. For example, if your policy's dwelling limit is $200,000, you'll have $100,000 in personal property insurance coverage. Your policy may offer an option to increase or decrease the limit to fit your needs.
Condo or renters policy:
Many renters policies provide personal property coverage options that typically range from $10,000 to $500,000. On a condo policy, options typically range between $0 and $500,000.
What is covered by personal property coverage?
Contents insurance may cover your belongings if they're destroyed or damaged by named perils covered under your insurance policy. Some carriers even offer an endorsement that changes the coverage for personal property from named peril to what is called open peril or all risk. This means there would potentially be coverage unless the loss is specifically excluded.
What isn’t covered?
Your personal property typically won't be covered if it's damaged by flooding. You'll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to help make sure your personal belongings will be covered, or check with your insurance company or agent to see if your carrier offers a flood endorsement.
What are some examples of personal property for insurance?
- Art and collectibles
- Musical instruments
Keep in mind that insurers typically set limits on certain categories of personal property. These are called "sub-limits." For example, you might have $100,000 in total personal property coverage but may only be entitled to a smaller set amount for a specific item or category of items.
Below are some examples of personal property that may have a sub-limit. Note that the sub-limits for these items may vary among insurance companies or even by state or products.
- Cash and gold
- Furs and precious stones
- Home-based business property
- Watercraft and trailers
What is scheduled personal property for insurance?
You can "schedule an item," also known as adding a "rider" to your policy. That simply means you're adding a specific item to your policy. You may need to schedule an item if its value exceeds your personal property insurance policy's sub-limits. Scheduling items will likely raise your premium, but it ensures you're adequately covered. Depending on the value of each item, an appraisal and a clear photo of the item you are scheduling may be required.