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When it comes to protecting where you live and what you own, a standard home insurance policy has six main areas of coverage, including personal property coverage.
While homeowners insurance protects the structure of your home, personal property coverage protects your belongings. If your covered possessions are stolen, damaged, or destroyed, personal property insurance can pay to replace or repair them.
Let’s take a closer look at how personal property coverage works, what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, and why it’s an important part of a homeowners insurance policy:
- What is personal property coverage?
- What does personal property insurance cover?
- What is not covered under personal property insurance?
- How much personal property coverage do you need?
- Is jewelry covered under homeowners insurance?
- Scheduled personal property coverage
What is personal property coverage?
Ready for some good news? You don’t need to own a home to get personal property coverage. Renters insurance, condo insurance, and homeowners insurance all provide protection that extends to not just where you live, but to the personal belongings that reside in your home.
Personal property coverage is often referred to as Coverage C on a homeowners policy. Coverage C can protect your personal belongings in the event of a covered loss (also known as a peril).
What’s considered personal property?
Essentially, everything you own is considered your personal property. If you were to move, picture all the belongings that would come with you. That’s your personal property.
Personal property insurance coverage can help provide reimbursement if any of your belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged. Your bike, furniture, and electronics are all examples of personal property. This coverage can also extend to property of other people if something happens to it while it’s stored in your home.
What does personal property insurance cover?
Personal property insurance can provide coverage for many more types of belongings. Here are a few common examples to give you an idea of where coverage can reach:
- Sporting equipment
- Kitchen appliances
Check Out: Types of Homeowners Insurance (Policy Forms)
What is not covered under personal property insurance?
Just as important as what is covered, is what’s not covered. Even though many belongings fall under the umbrella of what’s considered personal property, not all do. Here ares a few examples of items personal property insurance typically doesn’t cover:
- Cars and any other motorized vehicles tTry auto insurance.)
- Pets (Try pet insurance.)
- Items that fly or hover (See if you get coverage through the manufacturer’s warranty or your credit card.)
- Belongings of landlords, roomers, or boarders (It’s recommended they take out their own insurance policy.)
It’s also important to note that items that are considered personal property won’t receive coverage if damaged during a non-qualifying event, like an earthquake. Double-check your insurance policy to see which perils are covered.
How much personal property coverage do you need?
Here’s how you can crunch the numbers to figure out what the right amount of coverage is for you:
- Step 1: Take stock. Walk around your home and create an inventory of sorts with photos or videos of all your personal property.
- Step 2: Estimate costs. In your notes, include how much each item cost to buy. When it comes to items you have a lot of, like kitchen supplies, it can be easier to round up and create a number that captures all the items in that category.
- Step 3: Determine coverage amounts. It can also help to round up a bit here. Once you know what all your belongings are generally worth, add them up to get the total number. If you have $38,000 worth of belongings, round up to $40,000 to make sure you have enough coverage.
How to calculate personal property coverage
To more accurately calculate how much personal property coverage you need, you’ll estimate the value of your possessions, and then decide if you want actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV) coverage. The type of coverage you choose will greatly impact how much you need to pay out of pocket after filing an insurance claim — especially as time goes on after taking out your insurance policy.
- Actual cash value: With ACV coverage, you’ll receive the amount of money required to fix your home or replace belongings — minus the decrease in value your property has experienced thanks to use or age. You may also hear this coverage referred to as depreciated cash value.
- Replacement cost value: When it comes to RCV, you get as much coverage as you need to replace your belongings or repair your home without depreciation taken into account. With RCV, your insurance company may first provide you with the ACV amount. Then, once you pay to repair or replace a belonging, you can submit the receipt for the full price of the purchase. Your insurer will then reimburse you for the difference of that price and the ACV.
Is jewelry covered under homeowners insurance?
Personal property coverage under homeowners, renters, and condo insurance plans usually covers jewelry. But it’s important to note that while standard personal property coverage does include jewelry, watches, and similar luxury items, there are limitations.
First of all, the losses surrounding jewelry need to occur under a covered peril. Secondly, you need to have not only an overall policy limit that covers the cost of your jewelry, but one that has high enough theft and loss coverage.
Both theft and loss coverage can have a low liability (usually only about $1,500). So if your $30,000 engagement ring is stolen, you may not get nearly enough coverage to replace it.
We’re going to walk you through a solution to this problem next.
Scheduled personal property coverage
Let’s say you do have some expensive items you want more coverage for.
Scheduled personal property coverage can provide extra protection. This is an add-on for your standard homeowners insurance policy and may be referred to as a rider, floater, or endorsement depending on how your insurance provider classifies this add-on.
Adding scheduled personal property coverage usually leads to higher premiums, but provides more protection, including additional perils. You can also choose to have a lower deductible or no deductible for scheduled items.
The addition of scheduled personal property coverage to your standard plan can come in handy if you have any of the following expensive items that you want to protect:
- Musical instruments
- Sporting equipment
- Vinyl records
Again, this is why it’s a good idea to do a tally of what your belongings are worth. Saving the receipts for these pricey items can be especially helpful when it comes time to cover a claim and to choose how much scheduled personal property coverage you need.