What Is Personal Property Coverage?
Personal property insurance covers items in your home, like your TVs, furniture, clothing and more. You might not think about how much personal property you have, or how much your belongings are worth, but it adds up over time, especially if you’re updating technology or as kids grow older. If your items are ever damaged, stolen or lost, personal property coverage may help cover the cost of replacing them. It could even protect the property of others which is under your “care, custody, or control” should the items of a guest be damaged or stolen.
Most all homeowners policies and renters insurance have some form of personal property coverage, which is often referred to as Coverage C. While the amount of coverage varies, it is generally calculated as a percentage of the value of the dwelling. The minimum amount of coverage is usually 50% of the home’s value. But it’s very common to see 75% percent or more as well. Because it is most always stated as a percentage of the amount your home is insured for, the higher the value of your home, the more coverage you have for your personal property. If you have a lot more property than the average person, you might want to talk to your agent about additional coverage as well. As with all insurance. coverage and eligibility varies by situation, and by insurance company.
Generally speaking, Coverage C follows you anywhere in the world. So if you are away from home, you have coverage on your personal belongings just as if you were in your own back yard.
Personal Property Coverage Examples
It’s obvious that this type of coverage would be invoked in the event you lost personal property due to a fire, a tornado, or other covered loss. It may also be understood that you’re likely covered if items, like your bike, laptop or golf clubs were stolen, but there might be some situations where it didn’t realize you may have coverage. For example, if you go on vacation and the airline losses your luggage, that may be covered loss.
Personal Property Coverage Exclusions
When personal property items are described and specifically insured, they are not included in the Personal Property Limit of Insurance. Personal Property does not include animals, birds or fish; motor vehicles; aircraft or hovercraft; property of tenants except those related to an insured; business data. Business property may be covered if it is in your home office. But coverage for business property is very limited, if there is any coverage at all. If you work from home, it is best that you talk to your agent about business insurance to cover these items.
Determining the Value of Your Belongings
A good first step in determining the amount of coverage you need is to create a home inventory. This is a process of creating a list of all your personal property and placing a value on each item. It would also be helpful to keep invoices, models, and serial numbers of higher-end electronic equipment. Finally, taking the time to take pictures or record a video of you property is also a good idea. Having a completed and up-to-date home inventory will give you a good idea of just how much personal property coverage you need.
Limitations of Property Coverage
Coverage C has some limitations in the form of sub-limits. Sub-limits will limit the coverage for certain items such as: money, gold, silver and similar valuables, jewelry, watches, furs and fine arts; and firearms to name a few. Items lost due to theft also has limits.
What Is Scheduled Personal Property?
If you have items such as those listed above, you should talk to your agent about scheduling those items to ensure proper coverage. Scheduled personal Property is optional protection you can purchase in addition to your homeowners policy to cover high-value items. It may cost a little extra to add scheduled property, but the relatively small expense will be well worth it should you ever have a loss.
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