Personal property insurance is the portion of homeowners insurance that covers the cost of repairing or replacing your belongings if they're stolen or damaged by a peril that is covered under your policy. Also known as Coverage C on your home insurance policy, personal property insurance covers your possessions both on your property and anywhere else in the world.
However, certain categories of personal property that could be considered rare or valuable items — such as art, jewelry, antiques, and other potentially high-value items — typically come with lower coverage limits by default. To ensure all of your belongings are fully covered in case of damage or theft, consider adding a personal articles floater or a similar enhancement to your policy to increase coverage limits on your high-value items.
What is personal property insurance?
Personal property insurance is a standard coverage in home, condo, and renters insurance that helps pay to replace your belongings when they're damaged or stolen.
On homeowners policies, you don't choose a specific personal property coverage amount since it's generally represented as a percentage of your policy's dwelling coverage limit, which is the part of homeowners (or condo) insurance that covers the home itself. Most insurance companies offer personal property coverage limits of anywhere from 50% to 70% of the dwelling limit.
What type of personal property is covered (and not covered)?
Personal property coverage provides reimbursement for just about anything that you consider your "stuff" if it's stolen or destroyed by a covered peril, but there's also a few items that aren't covered under your homeowners insurance. Covered and not covered property types include:
What does personal property insurance cover?
A standard HO-3 homeowners insurance policy covers personal belongings on a "named perils" basis. This means they'll help pay to repair or replace your stuff in the event of theft, fire damage, water damage from a burst pipe, or damage from any other peril that's listed, or "named", in your policy, including:
When you file a home insurance claim for personal property damage or theft, the burden of proof will generally fall on you to prove to the insurance provider that the loss was caused by one of the named perils on your policy.
Open perils coverage is advantageous to the policyholder because when you file a claim, the burden of proof is on the insurance company to prove that the loss isn't covered — similar to how claims under the dwelling portion of homeowners insurance work.
How much personal property coverage do you need?
Your personal property coverage limit should be enough to replace all possessions that you own that are eligible for coverage under your policy.
Putting together a home inventory with item descriptions and values is the most effective (and easiest) way to determine whether you should stick with the default 50% coverage amount or opt for higher limits.
In addition to taking stock of everything you own and arriving at a rough coverage estimate, you'll also want to use this time to determine whether you want actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV) personal property coverage.
Additionally, take note of any possessions or valuables you own that come with special limits of liability, or sublimits, such as jewelry, watches, a fine dining set, or artwork.
ACV vs. RCV personal property coverage
Personal property is typically covered at its actual cash value, which means that when insurance companies calculate your claim reimbursement for personal property damage or loss, depreciation of your items (like age or wear and tear) is subtracted from the amount you get back.
While standard policies typically cover personal property at its ACV by default, most insurers will give you the option of upgrading Coverage C loss settlements to personal property replacement cost coverage. With replacement cost contents coverage, homeowners insurance will pay the cost of replacing your stolen or damaged belongings with completely new items.
Here's a breakdown of actual cash value and replacement cost coverage.
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
Personal property coverage sublimits
While personal property insurance provides coverage for jewelry and other types of expensive valuables, they're usually only covered up to a limited amount — also known as a "sublimit".
Here’s a look at the sublimits on different types of valuables in a standard home insurance policy.
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)
How to increase the coverage limits on high-value items
If you own expensive belongings with special limits of liability, you may be able increase these limits via a floater or policy endorsement for an additional premium.
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.
What does personal property insurance not cover?
Regardless of whether you have named or open perils personal property coverage, the following causes of personal property damage are generally never covered.
Neglect or wear and tear
Most insurers offer additional insurance coverage or policy add-ons that can supplement your standard policy coverage to protect against against the uncovered perils. Here are a few of the most common.
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 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 2024, 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.