What is Personal Property Insurance?


WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 | 1 MIN READ

When you buy home insurance, it’s mostly to cover the structure of the building. Usually, it also provides some level of property coverage too. However, if you have specific high-value items you want to ensure are covered, you may need to purchase additional personal property insurance.

What is Personal Property Insurance Coverage?

Personal property coverage protects your belongings in case of theft or damage, such as damage caused by fire or flooding.

It covers a wide variety of things, including:

  • Appliances, unless you’re renting and they’re owned by the landlord or are built-in, in which case your standard homeowner’s insurance cover them
  • Art
  • Bikes
  • Books and music
  • Cell phones
  • Clothing
  • Computers 
  • Dishes and kitchen utensils
  • Entertainment systems
  • Firearms
  • Furniture
  • Indoor plants
  • Jewelry
  • Lamps
  • Rugs
  • Sports equipment
  • Toys
  • TVs

What type of damages does personal property insurance cover?

Typically, normal homeowners policies cover ‘named perils. A ‘peril’ is anything that can cause damage to or destroy your property.

Some of the most commonly listed perils include:

  • Theft
  • Frozen pipes
  • Falling objects
  • Vandalism
  • Smoke damage
  • Fire
  • Hail or windstorms
  • Explosions
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Volcanic eruption

How much insurance do you need for your personal belongings?

You should have enough coverage to protect your personal belongings, so it depends entirely on the value of your stuff. Consider taking inventory of what you own and making a list. This helps you decide what level of personal property insurance coverage you need.

How do personal property insurance claims work?

Before making a claim, double-check the item’s value compared to your deductible. It won’t be worth making a claim if it’s less than the deductible. If it’s only marginally more than the deductible, consider whether the potential premium increase is worth the payout.

If you determine it’s worth making a claim, do it immediately. Depending on your insurance carrier, you may need to phone them, but many allow you to file a claim online or through a phone app. 

You’ll likely have to send them evidence of the damage and an itemized list of the damaged or stolen property. In the case of theft, you’ll have to provide the police report details. 

The insurance provider considers your claim and potentially sends out a representative to assess the damage. If they approve the claim, the amount you receive depends on the type of coverage you have.

What Isn’t Protected With Personal Property Insurance Coverage?

Some things just aren’t covered by personal property insurance. Others are covered up to a certain amount. For example, if you have a laptop worth $3000, but your property insurance has an electronics limit of $2000, you’d only receive a payout of $2,000 less your deductible. 

Does personal property insurance coverage cover jewelry?

Yes, to an extent. There may be a limit per item, so some items may not be fully covered. You need a scheduled personal property endorsement if you have jewelry worth more than your jewelry coverage limit. 

Does personal property insurance coverage cover art?

Some art is, but most policies have a cap on how much coverage they offer per category of belongings.  For example, if you have an art collection, it likely won’t be covered entirely. Like with expensive jewelry, you can schedule art on your home insurance policy to ensure it’s fully covered.

Does personal property insurance coverage cover electronics?

Electronics are covered, but often only up to a specific limit. Before you get a scheduled personal property endorsement for electronics, determine if the limit is per item or for all of the electronics in your home. If you have items that won’t be covered under the standard policy limits, schedule them.

What type of perils aren’t covered by standard personal property insurance?

Perils not covered by standard personal property coverage include:

  • General wear and tear
  • Earthquakes
  • Flooding
  • Pests or vermin
  • Damage to property while moving home

If you need coverage against these things, speak to your policy provider about add-ons.

What’s a Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement, and How Does It Work?

A scheduled personal property endorsement is a policy add-on to extend the coverage limits for certain high-value items. 

Do you need a scheduled personal property endorsement for your home insurance policy?

Most policies have a limit per category of belongings, so if your property value exceeds the limit within its category, consider additional coverage.

What does a scheduled personal property endorsement cover?

Scheduled personal property endorsements cover the full value of specified items.

It’s used for protecting high-value items such as:

  • Bikes
  • Cameras
  • Electronics
  • Expensive antiques
  • Fine art
  • Firearms
  • Furs
  • Golf equipment
  • Jewelry
  • Musical instruments
  • Rugs and tapestries
  • Silver and goldware
  • Stamp, card, and coin collections

How much does a scheduled personal property endorsement cost?

The cost of a scheduled personal property endorsement varies depending on the insurance company, the item you’re insuring, and its value. Still, you’re typically looking at around $100 for each $10,000 coverage you need to schedule.

Personal Property Insurance FAQs

Is personal property the same as contents insurance?

Yes, the other name for personal property insurance is contents insurance. Different insurance providers may call them different things, but they are essentially the same. They protect your belongings from things like theft or fire.

What are the three main types of property insurance coverage?

The three main types of property insurance coverage are replacement cost, actual cash value, and extended replacement costs. 

How do I file a personal property insurance claim?

Depending on your policy, you may be able to file a claim online or in an app. Sometimes you may have to make a phone call instead. Before filing, consider the property’s value compared to the deductible and determine if it’s worth filing a claim.

Do I need to appraise items to schedule them as personal property on my home insurance policy?

Sometimes, you may need to appraise certain belongings before you add them as an endorsement. This depends on the type of item and the insurance company. 

How do I get a scheduled personal property endorsement?

Speak to your insurance provider to discuss adding a scheduled personal property endorsement to your policy.

Getting Enough Personal Property Coverage

Personal property insurance is typically included in most homeowners’ policies. But because of its limitations, it’s important to consider adding scheduled endorsements for your valuables. Get home insurance quotes from several companies for the best coverage and price.