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Does home insurance cover belongings not in my home?

Protect your phone, laptop and other possessions, even when you leave your house with them.

Updated

Fact checked
Most home insurance policies come with off-premises personal property coverage, which means your belongings are protected even when they’re not in the home. But check your policy to find out if your off-premises coverage has a lower limit than the items you want to protect.

Does homeowners insurance cover personal property outside my home?

Yes. Your home insurance policy will generally cover you if your items are stolen or destroyed by a peril named in your policy, like a fire or storm. To find out the specifics of your how your off-premises coverage works and what its limits are, check your policy documents or talk with your insurer.

This is referred to as off-premises coverage, and it’s part of your personal property coverage. But some policies may set low limits for off-premises coverage, so you may not be fully covered if you lose something expensive or if a lot of your belongings are stolen or destroyed at once.

A few examples of when you’d typically be covered include:

  • Your storage unit catches on fire, destroying your spare furniture.
  • Your car’s window is broken during a storm and your phone is ruined from the rain.
  • Someone steals your laptop out of your car.
  • You lose your engagement ring while traveling.

What types of coverage protect my belongings?

There are two ways to protect your belongings away from home: Included off-premises coverage and scheduled personal property coverage.

Included off-premises coverage

Most home insurance policies already cover a wide range of possessions away from home. But there’s often a cap on how much you can claim per item, and it only covers damage from perils listed in your policy. So you’ll want to be sure you’re sufficiently covered.

For example, if your per-item limit on jewelry is $2,000 and your $5,000 ring is stolen, you’ll only be reimbursed $2,000. And if you break the band or damage a stone, your insurance likely won’t pay for any of it.

Scheduled personal property coverage

Also known as valuable personal property insurance, this allows you to select specific items and insure them for an agreed amount, making it a good choice if you have any high-value items that you want to cover at home and while you’re away.

For example, you could insure the ring in the example above for $5,000, and you’d get its full value if it were stolen or destroyed. If you have scheduled coverage on expensive items, it may also include coverage if you lose the item or accidentally damage it.

What’s not covered by my home insurance?

Your policy exclusions vary depending on your provider, but some of the most common situations that aren’t covered include:

  • Normal wear and tear
  • Theft of or damage to possessions that are left unattended in a public place
  • Any tools or equipment for your business or job
  • Damage caused by your pets
  • Items left in an unlocked vehicle or in plain sight in a locked vehicle
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Bottom line

If you have home insurance, you likely already have coverage for your belongings while they’re away from home — though you’ll need to check your policy to find out what your coverage limits are. And if you don’t already have a policy, compare home insurers to find one that’s right for you.

Frequently asked questions about portable contents coverage

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