Do you want to insure your personal property against theft, damage, or destruction? Learn how to get the house contents insurance coverage you need.
If you are like most people, you probably have personal possessions you care about. Those possessions can include furniture, clothing, or electronic devices. You may also have collectibles, artwork, or hobby-related items you hold dear. Such personal property may not seem like it is in constant danger, but the potential is always there for damage, loss, or destruction to occur. You need to prepare for such possibilities before they have a chance to happen.
The best way to keep your personal property investments safe is to have house contents insurance. You may already possess such insurance as part of an existing policy. If not, you may need to add it as soon as possible. The first step is determining if you need coverage. Then you must find a provider and make sure you obtain an amount of coverage suitable for your items. You must also understand the costs involved in paying for such insurance policies.
What is House Contents Insurance?
House contents insurance is also known as personal property coverage. It is designed to provide the policy holder with financial compensation in the event his or her property is damaged, lost, or destroyed in a particular way. For example, most house contents insurance policies protect personal property owners from losses incurred due to fires. Such protection is important because fires are so common. In 2020, approximately 1.4 million fires occurred in the United States, and 26 percent of those involved apartments or family homes. House contents policies vary, but they compensate policy holders after “named peril” events like:
Windstorms (Hurricanes, Tornadoes Etc.)
What Types of House Contents Insurance Are Available?
There are two types of house contents insurance policies. The first is an actual cash value (ACV) policy. It replaces personal property based on the calculated cash value of the lost piece itself. That value is determined by factoring in the initial cost and depreciation since the item was purchased. The other type of policy is a replacement cost value (RCV) policy. It provides monetary compensation based on the current cost to purchase a similar replacement item. For instance, if a property owner purchased a couch four years ago for $1,000, but a similar couch now costs $1,200, the policy pays $1,200. Since the two policy types pay quite differently, it is important for a property owner to understand which type of coverage he or she has.
Who Needs House Contents Insurance?
Homeowners need home insurance for legal reasons. In fact, most lenders will not allow the purchase of a home unless insurance coverage is in place. Standard homeowners’ insurance typically already includes some amount of house contents insurance. However, certain homeowners may wish to purchase additional coverage. For example, collectors of rare items or homeowners concerned about floods or other hazards not covered under basic policies may want extra coverage.
Tenants also need house contents insurance. Although, they are not under the same legal obligation to have it. Landlord policies typically do not protect the personal property of tenants when incidents like fire occur. Tenants also need such policies because they often protect property even when it is not inside the home. For example, if a purse is stolen while the tenant is at a club, he or she may still potentially file an insurance claim.
Students are vulnerable when they are renting a home or apartment and do not have personal property insurance. Thefts among student populations are common. However, students do not always need to purchase their own house contents insurance. If they are young, their parents' insurance policies may provide them with the coverage they require, even though they are renting away from home.
Why Should You Get House Contents Insurance?
A legal requirement is an important reason to get house insurance, including contents insurance, as a homeowner. As a renter, you do not have that legal obligation. However, your landlord may also require you to have personal property insurance anyway. Other reasons to get house contents insurance as a homeowner or renter include:
Additional Expense Coverage After Named Peril Events (Hotel Stay Costs Etc.)
Coverage for Personal Property During Travel
Possible Liability Coverage in Case of Injuries to Third Parties That Occur in the Home
What Are Some Top Companies That Provide House Contents Insurance?
In the United States, there are many sources for house contents insurance. Any insurance company that offers homeowners or rental insurance typically offers personal property coverage options. You can opt to obtain such coverage from a small local agency or a national insurance chain. Here are some top companies that provide house contents insurance throughout the country:
State Farm is a company specializing in many different types of insurance, including vehicle, home, and business policies. The company offers house contents insurance for various situations. For example, standard rental insurance is available for personal property protection. More in-depth personal articles policies are also provided.
Allstate offers insurance policy types ranging from life insurance to vehicle insurance. Its available home contents insurance coverage ranges from basic coverage to optional scheduled coverage. The latter is designed to insure jewelry and other expensive personal property.
Amica provides house contents insurance for homeowners and renters. It also offers policy coverage for special situations, such as condo living. Its available policies include specific extra policies to protect laptops and other electronic devices.
Progressive offers house contents insurance divided into specific categories, along with custom options. Insurance for mobile homes is available, in addition to condos and houses.
Nationwide insurance provides replacement coverage for various types of home contents, including large appliances. The company also offers many other types of insurance, including pet and travel insurance.