Published: September 2015
You are headed on vacation to the Caribbean and realize two hours into your flight that you left your camera under a chair in the airport. When you land, you call the airport and the airline, but your camera is nowhere to be found. That may leave you wondering whether your homeowners or renters insurance will cover the loss.
You'll likely find that a standard policy for a home, condo or rental property doesn't provide coverage for lost items. Instead, those policies typically cover specific risks, known as perils. So while a camera or other items you own may be covered if they are stolen or damaged in a fire, that coverage typically won't extend to belongings that you lose or misplace.
Suppose, now, that your camera is stolen from your hotel room. Because theft is typically a covered peril, you are likely to receive coverage for the stolen camera after paying your policy deductible.
However, it’s important to note that some items, such as jewelry, may have lower limits for theft losses than other covered perils. You may also find that your policy's limits are lower if the loss occurs while you're away from home with your belongings. Check your policy or call your agent with any questions about your coverage limits.
There is one way to add protection for lost items to a policy. By purchasing scheduled personal property coverage, you can help provide greater protection for some of your most valuable belongings. Scheduled items - expensive jewelry, art, musical instruments, firearms or cameras, for instance — may be protected against additional risks, such as accidental loss. And higher limits are available for scheduled jewelry and firearms than the limits typically found a base policy.
Scheduled personal property usually does not require a deductible, but you will need to get a professional appraisal before purchasing the coverage. Talk with your agent to find out what items you may want to consider scheduling and how the coverage may benefit you.
No one wants to experience a personal property loss, whether it's the result of accidentally leaving a belonging behind or a situation that's out of your control. Talk with your insurance agent to learn what kind of coverage you have in place and whether you may benefit from additional protections. Then you can proceed with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have safeguards in place should the unexpected occur.