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Personal property coverage is a very important component of a property insurance policy because it offers protection for the things that are endearing to us. Though it may not replace the emotional bond of loss items, personal property coverage can provide relief in the form of financial restitution.
In this article, we will go over the coverage in these topics:
Exactly like its name, this coverage provides financial protection for all of your personal belongings. Here is a list of the most common examples:
Note that built-in appliances and other things that are attached to the wall or other structures in your home may be considered part of dwelling, and they are included as part of the dwelling coverage in your homeowners policy.
If you are traveling out of town or just out for dinner with friends, your personal things are also covered against theft under this coverage.
Keep in mind that your insurance company may require filing of a police report in order to document the theft of your personal property.
On most standard homeowners policies, the coverage amount for personal property insurance is calculated at a percentage of the dwelling coverage. In our experience, most policies insure this coverage between 50% and 70% of the dwelling coverage amount as a standard.
Many insurance companies keep personal property coverage at a fixed percentage of the dwelling coverage because they have already factored that percentage and dollar amount into its base coverage premium. Some companies provide flexible options to choose the coverage from a range of 40% to 75%.
Here are some examples of the coverage options relative to dwelling coverage amount:
Because personal property coverage is based on a percentage of the dwelling coverage, it is important to make sure your dwelling coverage is adequate in your homeowners policy.
A good way to check whether you have sufficient dwelling coverage is to approach it from the replacement cost estimate.
More information: Home Replacement Cost.
To answer this question, we recommend creating a simple spreadsheet to track all of your personal items. This spreadsheet does not need to be comprehensive, just a few basic information such as the type of personal items and their combined value.
Here is a basic example of such list:
|*insert type||*insert value|
In our experience, we find that taking pictures with our smart phone is a great supplement to the spreadsheet. Pictures offer a great visual to easily identifying your items and labeling them with name and value.
After taking pictures of your room, you can use a basic graphic program such as Microsoft Paint to add name and estimated value next to each of your personal property. Above image is an example using our stock footage to illustrate how items were labeled using a graphic program.
This method of storing information will not only make it easy to identify the value of your personal property, but could also serve as a reminder to where your things were placed when you move to a new place.
Most insurance companies have a set coverage limit for high-value items in personal property coverages, things such as:
The most common example is jewelries. In most standard homeowners policy, the theft coverage for jewelries is limited to $5,000 and often capped at $1,000 per single item.
In order to adequately cover your jewelries and other valuables, you can choose to add a scheduled personal property endorsement on to your homeowners policy. An endorsement is an add-on coverage to your homeowners policy to include additional protection for specified items.
The scheduled personal property endorsement allows you to itemize your valuables individually and insure them at their recent appraised value. This added endorsement allows higher coverage, so you are not limited to the standard coverages of your homeowners insurance.
If you have these high-value possessions, we strongly recommend talking to your insurance agent about scheduling and adding them as an endorsement to your property insurance.
More information: Scheduled Personal Property Coverage.
Personal property coverage falls under the same exclusions as your property insurance policy. The most common exclusions are:
Beyond these exclusions, your insurance company may have specific exclusions for personal property coverage. Some of the common ones that we come across are:
Every insurance company has its own guidelines for policies. We always recommend talking to your insurance agent to discuss your personal policies in detail. Working with an insurance agent is the best way to make sure you are properly covered.