Personal property insurance protects you from losses caused by theft, fire, vandalism, and other perils. It’s usually a part of homeowners, renters, condo, and flood insurance policies.
The amount of coverage you choose depends on the value and risk of your items. It also depends on how your policy reimburses you if your stuff is damaged or stolen.
Coverage for High-Value Items
High-value items can be everything from antiques and artwork to expensive shoes and clothes. They can also include electronics, computers, furniture, and musical instruments.
Check your homes or renters insurance policy to ensure you have adequate coverage. These high-value products may have a cap on the amount they will pay out. Your independent agent can help you determine how much personal property insurance you need to protect your most valuable possessions from damage or theft.
Many homeowners or renters’ policies will only pay the actual cash value of your items, meaning you get paid out only for what the item is worth at the time of loss. It is often a better option than replacement cost coverage, which will pay you to replace the items with similar ones (like a leather couch).
If you have high-value jewelry or other valuables that exceed your policy’s limits, consider adding a scheduled to home insurance personal property endorsement or valuable items plus coverage to your home or renters insurance policy. It can give you additional coverage for valuables that you still need to cover.
A thorough inventory of your belongings can help you determine how much coverage you need for all your valuables. In addition, you can use the information to calculate how much it would cost to replace your belongings in the event of a claim so that you can budget accordingly.
Coverage for Items in Storage
Storage units can be a great solution if you have many items that don’t fit in your home or are valuable. But you should be aware that your homeowners or renters’ insurance won’t cover everything that goes into a storage unit, so check the policy’s coverage limits and exact items insured before storing anything in a self-storage facility.
Remember that some items are worth more than $2,000, and most insurers will limit reimbursement for stolen property to around $500. Therefore, it is essential to ensure high-value items, such as family heirlooms and antiques, with additional coverage that can be purchased through a scheduled personal property endorsement.
Standard policies typically have low limits for items in storage. Talk with your insurance agent about scheduling a personal property add-on to protect your high-value belongings. These add-ons are often available at a small fee and provide more significant coverage limits for items such as family heirlooms, antiques, priceless art, and jewelry. They also typically require professional appraisals, which can be costly, so if you plan to store high-value items in storage, it’s a good idea to get them appraised and have them insured with this type of coverage before you move them into a self-storage unit.
Coverage for Items Outside Your Home
Personal property insurance protects your belongings inside and outside your home, up to the limits you select. It includes furniture, clothes, electronics, sports equipment, and more.
Personal property coverage pays for repairing or replacing if something is destroyed or stolen due to a covered peril. For homeowners, this typically equates to about 50 to 70 percent of their dwelling coverage, and renters can choose their limit.
A separate policy that offers broader coverage for expensive things can be added to your homeowner’s insurance as a scheduled personal property endorsement. These policies usually allow you to insure costly jewelry, firearms, furs, and other fine art up to their total value.
To determine how much coverage you need, walk around your home and make a list of all the things that are important to you. Then, note how much each item costs and what year you bought it.
Once you have a list, estimating how much each item would be worth should it ever be damaged or stolen can be more accessible. Then you can compare that amount to your current homeowners or renters insurance coverage by rounding up to the nearest full figure.
Getting any high-value items appraised is also a good idea because they will only receive coverage for damage or loss listed on your policy.
Coverage for Items in Transit
Many businesses that transport goods regularly – couriers, haulers, and removals companies, for example – must consider having a good transit insurance policy. If an accident occurs while transporting goods, their commercial vehicle insurance may not cover the loss of those items, and they will be unable to claim their own.
It can sometimes lead to severe financial loss for the business and the goods involved. Often the loss can be due to fire, theft, or water damage that the carrier does not carry coverage for under its policies.
You can purchase trip transit insurance to insure a single journey to protect high-value personal property such as jewelry, golf clubs, and silverware you may need to ship. In addition, if your business regularly stores its belongings in self-storage facilities, you should also purchase separate storage coverage to protect those contents.
Specified items in transit insurance are usually taken up by traders, small businesses, and tradesmen for the products they regularly transport, like electrical and mechanical equipment, musical instruments, and computers. A simple policy can be taken annually for significant transit and other risks like theft, damages, etc., of these specific goods.