Personal property is one of the coverages in a homeowners policy. It covers damage to or theft up to a limit as specified in the policy coverages. The policy coverage may not cover certain expensive items like jewelry, fine art, or musical instruments. Insurance companies have the option of scheduling certain personal items separately to provide greater coverage.
What is considered personal property?
All your personal belongings are covered by the personal item coverage under a standard homeowners policy. If your belongings are stolen or damaged, this coverage will cover you up to the amount listed in the policy. The homeowners policy provides limited coverage for some personal belongings. If you need to file a claim, it may not provide enough coverage to replace them.
You have the option of adding a rider, endorsement or policy for personal property coverage. You will need to submit a detailed receipt, appraisal, or other certified document that proves the item’s worth and lists the specific attributes, including serial numbers, for this endorsement. You may need photos of the items with identifying markings.
A standard package that includes increased coverage and does not require appraisal is offered by some homeowners insurance companies. You may be able to add $5,000 to your basic policy to include coverage for all jewelry. The scheduled personal property endorsement, which is available at an additional cost, is also optional.
What is the coverage of scheduled personal property?
Although exclusions and limits may vary depending on the insurance company, most homeowners insurance policies restrict certain items within their standard policy. If a valuable item is stolen, you may have to pay a $500 or $1,000 deductible. If you schedule personal property, however, you will be covered for its entire value both on-and off-premises.
Another example: Let’s say that you are engaged and your engagement ring has a value of $7,500. Your homeowners insurance policy covers jewelry up to $2,500, with a $1,000 deductible. After a thorough police search, your ring was stolen. The maximum amount you could recover for your engagement rings under a standard homeowners policy is $1,500. You would only be able to recover the purchase price or appraised value of $7,500 if it is listed under scheduled personal property.
A scheduled personal property endorsement also offers additional coverage that you wouldn’t get with standard personal property coverage. You will typically also get:
- Also known as mysterious disappearance, accidental loss coverage
- Accidental physical damage coverage
- There is no deductible for personal property claims (unless the policyholder chooses otherwise).
If you had lost or misplaced an engagement ring, homeowners insurance would have not covered it. You would still be able to recover the cost if your ring was scheduled. Personal property that is scheduled is covered on an open perils basis. This means that it is covered, unless otherwise stated in the policy documents. A homeowners insurance policy covers personal property. This policy names the risks and excludes coverage.
Scheduled personal property covers certain types of valuables
Although this list isn’t meant to be comprehensive, it does include the most common personal items that can usually be scheduled at their full value. If they exceed the homeowners insurance policy’s limits, you might consider scheduling them.
- Certain electronics (laptop, media equipment, etc.)
- Collections (cards, coins, stamps, etc.)
- Fine art
- Medical devices
- Instruments for music
- Tapestries and rugs
- Silver or goldware
- Sporting equipment
It is best to schedule a high-value item that’s not covered by a standard homeowners insurance. A homeowners policy will not cover your wedding ring if you lose the diamond. Scheduling your ring will give you that coverage. Your insurer and you will decide what schedule is best. It is not always worth scheduling sentimental items of lower value.
What are the circumstances that you may need personal property coverage?
Scheduled personal property coverage is recommended for those who own expensive jewelry, high-end bikes, or antiques passed down through the family. To determine if any of these items are worth more than the policy sublimits, review your homeowners insurance policy. If you have only $1,500 coverage on jewelry, but $15,000 in other items, it is worth scheduling the more costly pieces or all of them if you wish to have the wider claim coverage offered by the scheduled personal item endorsement.
Another option is to consider blanket insurance with a higher coverage limit. You could increase jewelry coverage by increasing the basic homeowners policy sublimit from $1,500 to $3,000 with a blanket policy. Blanket coverage can be cheaper than scheduling each item. Check with your insurance company to see if you can insure the items that you are interested in.
You can’t schedule personal property, or insure them with blanket coverage. Your homeowners policy will cover only the same perils. If you file a claim for homeowners insurance, you will be responsible for the homeowners policy deductible. This affects the amount of the payment you receive to repair or replace the item.
It may not be worth paying extra for coverage if you don’t have high-value items, or if your homeowners policy provides enough coverage. The cost of scheduled personal property depends on the item and its value. However, it can be quite affordable compared to the cost of replacing the item if it can be replaced.