4 Compelling Reasons to Get Personal Property Insurance

A percentage of the dwelling coverage in your home, condo, or renters insurance policy typically covers personal property. To avoid underinsurance, consider a comprehensive home inventory listing all your valuable possessions with their corresponding values. You can purchase an optional personal property endorsement or floater from most carriers for higher-valued items that exceed your policy’s personal property limits and sub-limits.

Protection From Loss

Typically included in homeowners, renters, condo, and landlord policies, personal property insurance protects your belongings against a range of named perils. Coverage limits vary; you can usually add to those coverage levels through endorsements. This type of personal belongings coverage also typically covers items stolen from your home or your possessions at other locations, such as a vacation home. You can also usually choose whether to obtain actual cash value or replacement cost coverage. In most cases, actual cash value pays out a certain percentage of your item’s depreciated value after an incident (minus your insurance policy’s deductible). Replacement cost is generally more expensive, but it pays out a larger amount if something happens to your belongings. Expensive items like jewelry, furs, antiques, and musical instruments typically have dollar limits within your personal property coverage. However, you can purchase a supplemental floater to insure these items for their full value.

Protection From Accidents

Your home is more than walls and doors; it’s filled with everything that makes it your own, like furniture, electronics, appliances, clothing, and other belongings. If these items are lost, stolen, or damaged in a covered event like fire, personal property insurance can help pay to repair or replace them. Most home and condo insurance policies include some level of personal property coverage. A typical policy covers the contents of your home for a set limit up to the amount outlined in your home’s dwelling coverage. A deductible will apply, as well. Your personal property coverage may also include a dollar limit per item for expensive items. These limits, known as sub-limits, usually apply to jewelry, furs, and other expensive items. You can increase the coverage limit for these items by purchasing a separate floater or adding a scheduled personal property endorsement to your policy.

Your policy can even cover your personal belongings in your car or off the premises, such as a laptop you take on vacation. Your personal property coverage may also include liability protection, which pays for the reasonable expenses you incur if someone is injured by an accident caused by you or members of your household in or around your home. Depending on the policy, it may also cover the cost of legal fees.

Protection From Theft

If you own personal property insurance (usually part of your homeowners, condo, or renters policy), thieves won’t be able to steal any of your belongings from your home. This is because theft coverage typically reimburses you for replacing stolen items. However, theft coverage has some limitations, which vary by insurance provider. For example, some policies only cover the value of items lost while on your home’s premises. If you leave your laptop at a coffee shop and it gets stolen, you will only get reimbursement for the actual cash value (which may be less than what it originally cost). Other policies offer additional theft coverage outside of your home. This can be useful if you have a shed or other detached structure on your property that you want to protect with a policy. However, this type of coverage is usually only available for high-value items.

To qualify for extra theft coverage, you must take a list of your most valuable possessions and their corresponding values. You should also include a description of each item and provide proof of ownership, such as receipts or appraisals, whenever possible. If your items have a very high value, you may need to purchase an endorsement for them. This allows for higher limits, which can be helpful for expensive items like jewelry, trailers, and chinaware.

Protection From Damage

Personal property coverage (also known as Coverage C in a homeowners, condo, or renters policy) helps to compensate you for your belongings if they’re damaged, destroyed, or stolen by certainly covered perils. This portion of the policy reimburses you to replace items like furniture, electronics, and clothes if they get ruined or destroyed by a fire, storm, lightning, or another event that qualifies under the terms of your homeowners or renters insurance. Generally, standard homeowners, condo, or renters insurance policies have set limits for individual possessions such as jewelry, antiques, and furs. For items that don’t qualify for a coverage limit under these policies, you can purchase scheduled personal property coverage, also known as a floater, to add more protection. Floater policies are intended to increase coverage limits for specific high-value belongings by having them officially appraised and insured at their actual cash value minus the depreciation. Most policies include personal property coverage that covers off-premises losses, meaning your belongings are protected even if they’re taken from your home or destroyed while away on vacation. However, most off-premises coverage is limited to 50%-70% of a policy’s total dwelling coverage amount.

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