Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team
Your comfy couch, your grandmother’s china, items like these might come to mind when you think about what makes your house a home. And you do what you can to protect them. That’s why homeowners insurance personal property coverage is so important. It protects those possessions — and the other things you use daily, like clothes, tools and electronics — so that in the case of sudden and accidental damage or theft, you’ll be able to replace them.
Personal property, in homeowners insurance terms, includes all the items you have in your home, such as furniture, appliances, electronics and clothing. It also includes expensive or hard-to-replace items like artwork, jewelry and collectibles.
Your personal property insurance will list the types of losses it protects you from, like theft, lightning or fire, so it’s important to review your policy to ensure you understand what’s covered under what circumstances.
Typical exclusions include damage from earthquakes and floods; insects, rodents or pets; and wear and tear. The good news is that you can add earthquake and flood insurance to your policy, which is a smart choice if you live in areas prone to these types of disasters.
There are two ways your personal property coverage protects your possessions in case of a covered loss: actual cash value coverage or replacement cost coverage.
If you have actual cash value coverage (ACV) for your personal property, your insurance pays you what your property is worth today. ACV takes into consideration factors such as age and condition, and expected service life.
In the event of a loss, replacement cost value (RCV) coverage pays you enough to replace your damaged property with new property of like, kind and quality, so you won’t have to worry about paying more than your deductible to cover the damage. To collect the replacement cost, however, you must actually replace the item.
The amount of personal property coverage you should have depends upon what you own and the value of those possessions. Making a list of all your possessions and how much they’re worth will give you a good estimate of how much coverage you need. To make that easy, print out our home inventory checklist (Opens in a new tab). It’s also a good idea to take photos or video record your possessions when you do your inventory. Your checklist and photo or video record will serve as a reference should you need to file a claim.
Once you have your inventory complete, you should be aware that your basic homeowners insurance coverage may not be enough to cover the loss of all your possessions or the value of special items you own. If you own high-value items like fine art, antiques or jewelry, your homeowners insurance personal property coverage may limit the amount of coverage for these items. To fully protect these possessions, you may need to expand your personal property coverage. You can do this by itemizing your personalize property or by increasing the policy limits on the categories of personal property that are limited.
Itemized personal property also provides coverage for a greater number of risks, such as accidental loss of jewelry. Itemized coverage is a smart option for items that have a limited amount of coverage on your standard policy, since it can provide protection for unexpected events beyond what’s typically included on your policy.
Check in with your American Family agent (Opens in a new tab) to learn more about your homeowners insurance coverage and what optional personal property coverage may be best for you. Having the right protection in place gives you peace of mind that all your possessions — and everything they mean to you — are protected.