What is personal property insurance?
Personal property insurance is the section of your homeowners insurance policy that covers your belongings (i.e. appliances, laptops, TVs, furniture) against covered losses, like fire or theft. Also referred to as Coverage C, personal property insurance covers personal items both inside your house and anywhere else in the world.
Most home insurance policies default your personal property coverage limits to 50% to 70% of your dwelling coverage limit, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).  So if your house is insured for $300,000, then your belongings might be covered up to $150,000.
However, certain types of personal property — such as expensive valuables and business equipment — typically have lower coverage limits than other types of valuables and may require additional coverage.
What personal property is covered by homeowners insurance?
Here’s a look at the types of personal property that’s covered and not covered under most standard homeowners insurance policies.
How does personal property coverage work?
Personal property coverage works similarly to your home insurance policy’s dwelling coverage. If your belongings are damaged or destroyed, you’ll file a claim with your home insurance company. If the damage is covered by your policy, they’ll pay to replace your items — up to the coverage limits in your policy.
Just keep in mind you’ll need to pay your policy deductible before your insurance company will kick in to replace your stuff. So if your deductible is higher than the cost of replacing your belongings, then you won’t be able to file a claim.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Say you have a home insurance policy that includes $150,000 of personal property coverage and comes with a $1,500 deductible.
A tree falls on your home, causing $25,000 worth of damage to your living room furniture and media equipment. The damage is covered by your home insurance policy, so you decide to file a claim to replace your belongings because the $25,000 claim outweighs your $1,500 deductible.
A few months later, your $500 laptop is stolen from your hotel room. Because your deductible is higher than your computer's value, you decide to forego filing a home insurance claim and pay to replace your laptop out of your own pocket.
How much does personal property coverage cost?
Personal property coverage is included in almost every type of homeowners insurance policy, so you don’t need to pay anything extra to get this coverage. As of 2023, the average cost of home insurance in the U.S. is around $1,754 per year for $300,000 in dwelling coverage and $150,000 in personal property coverage.
That being said, if you have expensive valuables and decide to schedule these items via an endorsement, that will likely increase your rates. Upgrading your personal property coverage to replacement cost value coverage can also increase your home insurance rates.
What are the two types of personal property coverage?
The two types of personal property coverage are actual cash value and replacement cost value. With a standard home insurance policy, your personal property is typically covered at its actual cash value, which means years of wear and tear on the item is deducted from your claim payout.
But most companies give you the option of upgrading your personal property coverage to replacement cost value. Personal property with replacement cost coverage pays to replace your belongings with new items — regardless of how old or worn they are. If you have this level of coverage and you file a claim, the insurance company will typically pay out the actual cash value of the settlement amount first, and then the remaining amount once you purchase the replacement items.
Here’s a quick look at how these two types of coverages compare.
Actual cash value coverage
Replacement cost value coverage
How it works
Covers your belongings at their actual cash value — meaning depreciation is deducted from your insurance claim payout
Covers your belongings with new items of similar type and quality — without deducting for depreciation
How much it costs
No extra cost — comes standard with most home insurance policies
Extra cost varies by insurance carrier and policy
When it’s a good idea
You don’t own much stuff or the things you do own are relatively new and still under warranty
Recommended for anyone who can afford to upgrade to this extra coverage — especially if your belongings are older
What types of damage does personal property insurance cover?
Insurance for personal belongings helps pay to repair or replace your stuff after a covered loss, such as a break-in, fire, or bad windstorm. But exactly what types of damage your personal property insurance covers depends on whether you have a named perils or open perils policy.
Named perils policy
A standard home insurance policy protects your personal belongings against the 16 named perils listed on the policy.
That means if any of the following cause damage to your belongings, your insurer will help cover the cost of replacement or repairs.
If you file a personal property claim on a named perils policy, the burden of proof falls on you to prove the loss was caused by one of these perils explicitly listed in your policy.
Open perils policy
On the flip side, some home insurance policies are open perils or all risk policies. This means your belongings are protected from any type of damage as long as it’s not explicitly excluded from your policy.
Here are the typical causes of damage that are excluded from coverage in open perils policies.
If you file a personal property claim on an open perils policy, the burden of proof falls on the insurance company to prove the loss was caused by a peril they explicitly excluded in your policy.
Can I buy additional personal property coverage for these excluded perils?
Most home insurance companies offer additional coverage offerings to further protect your personal belongings against these other types of perils. Oftentimes these can be added to your existing home insurance policy. If not, you’ll have to purchase a separate policy.
Here are a few of the most common types of additional personal property coverage, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 
Flood insurance: If your home insurance company doesn’t offer a flood insurance endorsement, you can purchase a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private flood insurance carrier.
Earthquake insurance: Similar to flood insurance, you might be able to add this coverage to your existing home insurance policy. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy.
Equipment breakdown coverage: This is a policy add-on that covers appliance breakdown due to electrical or mechanical failure. So if your fridge breaks down because of a broken compressor or your computer’s motherboard fries after a short circuit, equipment breakdown coverage can cover the cost of replacement or repairs.
How much personal property coverage do I need?
Your personal property coverage limit should be enough to replace everything in your home. While it usually defaults to 50% of your policy’s dwelling coverage limit, most insurance companies will give you the option of higher or lower limits depending on how much stuff you own.
The best way to estimate the total value of everything you own is by putting together a home inventory, according to the III.  A home inventory with item descriptions and values not only makes it easier to calculate your personal property coverage, but it can also help expedite claims.
Along with taking stock of everything you own, you should also decide whether actual cash value coverage is adequate for your belongings, or if you should upgrade to replacement cost coverage.
What is valuable personal property insurance?
Valuable personal property insurance includes coverage for jewelry and other types of expensive items you own, but they generally have special limits of liability. This means they’re typically only covered up to a maximum amount, or sublimit.
Here’s a look at special limits of liability for certain types of valuable personal property.
Items with special limits
$200 (includes coins and medals)
$1,500 (including stamps)
$2,500 (when stolen)
$2,500 (when stolen)
$2,500 (when stolen)
$2,500 (when stolen)
Business property (on premises)
Business property (off premises)
Some insurers may have stricter sublimits if your expensive items are stolen away from your home, like if your jewelry gets swiped at the airport. Make sure to check your policy to learn what your off-premises coverage is for valuable items.
Can I increase my personal property coverage for expensive items?
If you own expensive belongings with special limits of liability, you may be able increase coverage through an endorsement.
Scheduled personal property coverage: Increases coverage limits on specific high-value items. Typically costs around $100 for every $5,000 in coverage. Also covers more types of loss, like mysterious disappearance (aka if you lose or misplace a scheduled item).
Blanket coverage: Unlike scheduled property coverage, which is for individual items, blanket coverage gives you a blanket limit on a collection, or entire type of property — like your entire jewelry collection.
Home business endorsement: Increases coverage for your business property, typically up to $5,000 for on-premises coverage and $1,000 for off-premises.
The best companies for personal property coverage
Most home insurance companies offer the option of upgrading your personal property coverage to replacement cost value coverage. However, some go even further to offer extended protection for jewelry, fine art, firearms, appliances, and more.
Here's our list of the best companies for personal property coverage.
Best for …
Policygenius rating ★★★★★
Average annual premium
4.1 out of 5 ★
Equipment breakdown coverage with high limits
4.1 out of 5 ★
Replacement cost coverage you don’t have to pay extra for
3.7 out of 5 ★
Protecting your work-from-home equipment
3.2 out of 5 ★
Why AIG is best for personal property coverage
AIG is our top choice for personal property insurance for high-net-worth individuals. It offers a slew of top-tier coverage options and services to keep your home and belongings safe that aren’t typically available through standard home insurance companies.
Our favorites include personal wildfire protection if you live in an area at high risk of wildfires; background check screenings for nannies, housekeepers, and other in-home professionals; personal security services to minimize threats to your home and property; and high coverage limits for any type of valuable collection — from antiques to books to couture to fine wine.
Just keep in mind that AIG is best for homeowners with high-value homes and belongings. If you’re looking for a more modest home insurance policy with standard coverage limits, you might want to consider another company on our best list.
Why Chubb is best for personal property coverage
Chubb makes our list of the best companies for personal property coverage thanks to its robust equipment breakdown coverage. It offers high limits up to $500,000 that not only extends to your appliances and home systems, but also your personal computers, laptops, security systems, portable humidifiers, small countertop appliances, and more.
Just keep in mind that Chubb typically only insures high-value homes with expensive cars and valuables. So if you're insuring a mid-sized home with standard personal property and nothing else, Chubb probably won't take you on as a customer.
Why State Auto is best for personal property coverage
We like State Auto’s personal property coverage because even its most basic policy comes with replacement cost coverage by default — meaning you won’t have to pay an extra premium to replace your belongings with brand-new items, regardless of their age or wear and tear.
Why Encompass is best for personal property coverage
Encompass makes our list of companies with some of the best personal property coverage thanks to its home business property coverage. This optional endorsement pays to replace laptops, desks, monitors, and other business property damaged or stolen from your home — up to your policy coverage limits. It also covers up to $15,000 for business property losses that occur away from your home.
Methodology: How we picked the best companies for personal property insurance
To find the best personal property insurance in 2022, we analyzed the personal property coverage options available with 29 insurance companies. We prioritized companies that offered replacement cost coverage for belongings, unique personal property coverage endorsements, and high personal property coverage limits.