Published: July 2015
While personal property coverage is an important part of your homeowners insurance, it's a good idea to take a close look at your policy to understand what this coverage can help protect. You may find that an additional coverage, known as scheduled personal property, can help provide greater protection for some of your most valued belongings.
To properly protect your belongings, you should understand a little more about the differences between the two types of coverages.
While a standard homeowners policy typically provides coverage for your personal property, it usually sets a dollar limit on how much it'll pay for certain categories of valuables like jewelry (sometimes there's even a per-item limit).
For instance, there may be a $1,500 sub-limit on what your insurance will pay for jewelry after a loss — even though your overall personal property limit may cap out somewhere between 50 percent and 70 percent of the amount of insurance on your home (based on Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates).
So, if you were to file a claim for a piece of jewelry worth $500, you'd probably be in good shape. But if your loss is for a piece of jewelry valued at $2,500, you would likely only be covered up to the $1,500 sub-limit (assuming, of course, that it's a loss covered by your policy).
That's where scheduled personal property coverage comes in. It's an optional add-on to your homeowners insurance policy that increases the limits on specific high-value items for more protection.
Here are some belongings you might want to consider for scheduled personal property coverage:
- Jewelry and furs
- Art and antiques
- Stamp or coin collections
- Musical instruments
- Expensive cameras
To get the items scheduled, you typically need to provide your insurance company with a recent receipt or a professional appraisal, the III says
Of course, scheduling your belongings will likely cost you more in premiums. But the III notes that scheduled property coverage may come with additional benefits:
- Broader protection. Scheduled personal property may be covered for additional risks, including accidental loss (like dropping your wedding ring down the drain), which typically isn't something covered by a standard homeowners policy.
- No deductible. When you have a claim on an item that you have scheduled, you're usually not required to pay a deductible. That may not be the case for other belongings that fall under the protection of personal property coverage on your standard policy.
Because the value of certain items like antiques or collectibles can go up and down over time, the III suggests getting regular appraisals done to make sure you're purchasing the protection for your valuables — coverage that's not too high, not too low — that you actually need.
Have a general insurance question? Email email@example.com. Please note, if you have a specific question about your policy, a claim or a payment, you should contact your agent directly.