One of the coverages included in a homeowners insurance policy is personal property, which pays up to a certain limit for damaged or stolen belongings outlined in the policy coverages. However, if you have certain high-value items, like jewelry, fine arts or musical instruments, the amount of coverage provided in the policy may not be enough to cover the replacement cost of these items. To provide broader coverage for certain personal items, insurance companies offer the option to schedule them separately for their value.
What is scheduled personal property?
Under a standard homeowners insurance policy, all your belongings are covered under the personal property coverage. This coverage will pay up to the limit listed in the policy to replace your belongings if they are damaged or stolen, and a claim is filed. Under the homeowners policy, there is limited coverage for certain personal belongings, which may not be enough to replace them if you have to file a claim.
In this instance, you have the option to include a rider or endorsement for scheduled personal property coverage for those items. To do this, you will have to provide a detailed receipt, appraisal or other certified document proving the item’s value and listing the specific attributes of the item, including serial numbers and other identifying details. Photos of the items, including identifying markings, may be required and are a good idea even if not, to provide as much detail about the item as possible in case it is stolen or lost.
Some homeowners insurance companies offer a standard package with increased blanket coverage that does not require an appraisal. If the basic policy includes coverage up to $1,000 for jewelry, for example, you may have the option to increase the coverage to $5,000 or more to cover all jewelry items. The scheduled personal property endorsement is optional, just like blanket coverage, and is an additional cost.
What does scheduled personal property cover?
Though specific limits and exclusions vary by insurance company and policy type, most homeowners insurance policies limit certain items in the standard policy. For example, if a high-value item is stolen, there may be a cap of $500 or $1,000 to replace it, and you could be subject to the homeowners policy deductible. However, if you schedule your personal property, you are covered for its full value on- and off-premises.
As another example, say you just got engaged, and your engagement ring is valued at $7,500; your homeowners insurance policy has a jewelry sublimit of $2,500 with a $1,000 deductible. Your ring is stolen and after a thorough police search, it is not recovered. Under a standard homeowners policy, the most you would recoup for your engagement ring is $1,500. If you have it listed under scheduled personal property, you would recoup up to the full purchased or appraised $7,500 value, less any policy deductible if you have one.
Another benefit of a scheduled personal property endorsement is the extra coverage you would not have under standard personal property coverage. With scheduled personal property, you also typically get:
- Accidental loss coverage, also called mysterious disappearance
- Accidental physical damage coverage
- $0 deductible for scheduled personal property claim (unless chosen by the policyholder)
Had you just lost or misplaced your engagement ring, you would not have had coverage under a homeowners policy. But since if it was scheduled, you would be able to recoup the cost without paying a deductible. Scheduled personal property is covered under an open perils basis, which means it is covered unless it is specifically excluded in the policy documents. Personal property under a homeowners insurance policy is claimable under a named perils policy, which names risks included and excludes coverage for anything not listed.
Types of valuables covered by scheduled personal property
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but represents the most common personal property items that usually can be scheduled for their full value. After checking the limits on your homeowners insurance policy, consider scheduling these items if they are over the limit:
- Certain electronics (laptop, media equipment, etc.)
- Collections (cards, coins, stamps, etc.)
- Fine art
- Medical devices
- Musical instruments
- Rugs and tapestries
- Silver or goldware
- Sporting equipment
Generally, it is best to consider scheduling a high-value item that is not fully covered under a standard homeowners policy. If you wear your wedding ring and lose the diamond, it will not be covered under a homeowners policy. However, scheduling your ring will provide that coverage. It is up to you and your insurer to determine what is beneficial to schedule. In many cases, sentimental items that are lower in value may not be worth scheduling.
When you might need scheduled personal property coverage
If you own a high-end bike, expensive jewelry or antiques handed down in your family, you may want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. Review the policy sublimits for these items in your homeowners insurance policy to see if any of the items listed above are valued higher than the sublimits. If you only have coverage for $1,500 in jewelry but you have $15,000 worth, you may want to schedule the more expensive pieces–or all of them–if you want the broader claim coverage protection offered by the scheduled personal property endorsement.
You could also consider blanket insurance coverage with a higher coverage limit. For example, increasing jewelry coverage from the basic homeowners policy sublimit of $1,500 to $3,000 on a blanket policy may be all that is needed. Blanket coverage may be more cost-effective than scheduling each item. However, check with your insurer to understand if the items you want to insure can be covered under a blanket policy.
If you choose not to schedule your personal property or insure them with blanket coverage, claims will be limited to the same covered perils as your homeowners policy. You will also be subject to the homeowners policy deductible if you do file a claim, which affects the payment amount you receive to replace or repair the item.
If you do not own high-value items or if the homeowners policy sublimit is enough coverage for you, it may not be worth the extra cost for additional coverage. The price for scheduled personal property is determined by the carrier, item and value, but is generally inexpensive compared to the cost to replacing an item, if it is replaceable.