Personal property insurance vs. home & renters insurance

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Personal property insurance vs. home & renters insurance

Maybe you’ve seen people talking about personal property insurance, also known as personal articles insurance, and you’re wondering: Do I need personal property insurance if I have a homeowners or renters policy?

The short answer is: probably not! But before we get into that, what does personal property insurance do exactly? As the name suggests, these policies cover (surprise!) your personal property. So this includes things like:

  • Appliances
  • Books 
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Tablets, laptops, cellphones, and televisions 
  • Kitchenware
  • Furniture
  • Sports equipment

Be aware that not everything is covered (cars and pets are often excluded, for example). And if you own anything extra valuable, you may want to purchase an endorsement, a personal articles floater, or something like a jewelers block policy because personal property insurance payouts are often capped at a certain value. 

You’ll also want to look at whether your policy offers coverage only to “named perils.” This means that coverage only applies for the events that your policy specifically lists. Some policies operate under an “open perils” framework, meaning that they will cover everything not specifically excluded by your policy. 

What kind of perils are protected is generally the same across most policies (again, you’ll want to talk to your provider). Most exclude earthquake or flood damage, which require separate forms of coverage, but overall, standard perils include:

  • Smoke and explosions
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Damage from ice, snow, or sleet
  • Theft or vandalism
  • Wind or hail

While we cross our fingers you’re never in this position, if you do ever need to make a personal property claim, the amount you are paid depends upon which coverage option you selected:

  • Replacement cost for a new item (these policies tend to cost more upfront, but the payouts are often more valuable)
  • Actual cash value of the item (payouts are based upon the actual value of the item damaged, an amount which can depreciate over time)

But you’re here to find out whether you need homeowners/renters insurance AND personal property insurance — and look how long it’s taken us to get to the answer! The truth is most homeowners or renters policies include personal property insurance, and it’s likely that you already have one or the other (look for “Coverage C” on your policy to see the personal property coverage you already have). Read the fine print to make sure that yours does, and if it doesn’t, you may want to look at personal property insurance. 

At Marble, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to protect your most treasured belongings — which is why we’ve created the Marble wallet, where you can see all your coverage details and earn rewards just for having insurance.