Does home insurance cover belongings not in my home?

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Protect your phone, laptop and other possessions when you take them with you away from home.

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 your items at home.

Does homeowners insurance cover my personal property when I’m not at home?

Yes. If your laptop is stolen from your car or your storage unit catches fire, destroying your extra furniture, your home insurance will generally cover it.

This is referred to as off-premises coverage, and it’s part of your personal property coverage. But some policies may set lower 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.

To find out more about how your off-premises coverage works and what its limits are, check your policy documents or talk with your insurer.

What types of coverage are available?

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.

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.

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What events are covered?

Your home insurance policy will generally cover you if your items are stolen or destroyed by a peril covered by your policy, like a fire or storm.

If you have scheduled coverage on expensive items, it may also include coverage for if you lose the item or accidentally damage it. But what kinds of damage are covered depends on the insurer, so it’s a good idea to read the fine print before choosing a policy.

What’s excluded from home insurance?

Exclusions vary from policy to policy, but your insurer generally won’t cover:

  • Wear and tear
  • Theft of or damage to possessions that are left unattended in a public place
  • Any possessions related to your business or trade
  • Damage caused by your pets
  • Items left in an unlocked vehicle or in plain sight in a locked vehicle

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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