What is personal property coverage?

By Allstate

Last updated: February 2024

Personal property is the stuff you own — furniture, electronics and clothing, for example. Whether you own a home or rent an apartment, home insurance or renters insurance policies typically include personal property coverage. This type of coverage helps pay to repair or replace your belongings after a covered loss, such as theft or fire. Here are some things to consider when it comes to protecting your belongings.

get a personalized insurance quote today

A great rate is just a few clicks away.

How does personal property insurance work?

Personal property insurance is designed to financially protect your belongings against a variety of hazards – fires, vandalism, theft, power surges (for electronics), certain types of water damage and more. How much of your personal possessions are covered depends on how much coverage you purchase. Many homeowners or renters insurance companies encourage you to create an inventory of your belongings to get an idea of how much protection is worth purchasing.

What's covered by a personal property policy?

The types of property that may be covered by home or renters coverage include clothing, electronics, furniture, collectible items (art, stamps, baseball cards), sporting equipment, musical instruments, etc.

Personal property coverage can help reimburse you for damaged or missing items for hazards listed in your policy (some of which are mentioned above). Certain losses may not be covered, which is why it's good to review your policy.

Types of personal property coverage

There are two types of personal property coverage: replacement cost and actual cash value. A replacement cost policy typically pays the dollar amount it will take to buy a new item at the time of a claim. An actual cash value policy factors in depreciation to provide reimbursement based on the current value of an item. It's also important to know that personal property coverage usually has certain limits on what it will pay to replace an item or category of items.

Actual cash value (ACV)

ACV reimburses you for the depreciated value of your belongings. Say your TV was damaged due to a power surge. An ACV coverage reimbursement will typically be less than the cost of a new TV.

Replacement cost value (RCV)

RCV will help cover the cost of replacing your belongings at the current market value. In the case of the TV mentioned above, you'd be reimbursed for the amount it would take to buy that same TV, not its depreciated value.

Does renters insurance cover my belongings?

A common misconception among renters is that their landlord's insurance policy will cover their belongings. While landlord insurance typically helps protect the residence against certain risks, that coverage typically does not extend to a renter's belongings. The personal property coverage in a renters policy can help cover your belongings, like cameras and laptops, up to the coverage limits in your policy.

Learn more about renters insurance and what it covers.

Does condo insurance cover my belongings?

A typical condo insurance policy includes coverage for the owner's belongings against certain risks, such as fire or theft. So, while a condo association's insurance may help protect the physical structure of the building and the areas shared by multiple owners, that protection likely does not extend to the stuff inside a unit. A condo owner's insurance policy usually helps protect belongings, such as furniture, computers or clothing, against a covered loss. Again, coverage limits will apply. Your insurance provider can help explain your coverage terms and limits so you can decide whether you have the proper protections in place.

Learn more about condo insurance and what it covers.

Does homeowners insurance cover my personal property?

In addition to providing dwelling and liability protection, most homeowners insurance policies include coverage for personal property — up to the limits outlined in the policy. So, if your home is damaged by a covered peril — fire, for instance — homeowners insurance typically helps pay to repair damage not only to the home's structure, but it also may help replace the belongings inside. Coverage is subject to the terms and limits outlined in your policy, so be sure to read your policy or ask your insurance provider if you have any questions.

Learn more about homeowners insurance and what it covers.

Does insurance cover lost items?

Typical homeowners, renters and condo policies do not provide coverage for lost items. If a valuable is stolen, you'll likely find insurance will help cover the loss. However, if you misplace a belonging or leave it behind in a hotel room, for example, insurance usually will not cover the loss. However, scheduled personal property — an add-on protection that can be purchased for specific items — may help cover lost items. Contact your insurance provider to learn about the specifics of your coverage.

Is jewelry covered by insurance?

While jewelry is typically considered a type of personal property, it's important to consider whether your coverage limits are high enough to protect the pieces you value most. Often, insurance policies will come with sub-limits for certain kinds of belongings, such as jewelry. So, while your overall personal property coverage limits are higher, coverage for jewelry may be more limited. Be sure to check your policy or ask your insurance provider about what kind of coverage you have in place for jewelry. You may want to consider standalone jewelry insurance if you need additional coverage.

What is scheduled personal property?

While your homeowners, renters or condo policy may help provide protection for your personal belongings, that coverage typically comes with sub-limits for certain types of property — and sometimes there are even limits for each item. Your insurance provider can help you decide whether you may benefit from "scheduling" certain items, which means purchasing separate coverage to further protect specific high-value items, such as jewelry, art or musical instruments.

What isn't protected by personal property coverage?

Personal property coverage kicks in when belongings are damaged by certain risks. It's important to note that not all risks are covered by a standard insurance policy. For instance, if your belongings are damaged in a flood, the personal property coverage in a homeowners, condo or renters insurance policy most likely would not provide reimbursement. However, if you have a separate flood insurance policy, you'd likely be able to file a claim for flood-damaged items in your home. Read your policy or contact your insurance provider to learn what types of risks your insurance may or may not help cover.

How much personal property coverage do I need?

The value of your belongings can really add up, so it's important to know what kind of coverage you have in place if the unexpected occurs. The amount of coverage that's right for you depends on what you own and its total value. It's important to know this because personal property coverage has a limit, which you can set. If you set it too low and high-valued items are damaged, it may not be able to cover their replacement.

One way to help determine the total value of your personal belongings is to create a home inventory. The easiest way to do this is to take photos or videos of each room in your house, noting the items, their estimated value – especially clothing, furniture and electronics. Also consider collectible items or pieces of art, and their respective appraisals, if you have them.

If you ever have questions about coverage limits, or coverage in general, don't hesitate to reach out to your insurer.