Will Coverage C Insurance Still Protect Your Belongings from Fire if You're on Vacation?

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When you go on vacation, you want think about very little other than how best to relax and enjoy yourself away from home. Unfortunately, your home is still at risk of disasters while you’re gone.
In the event that a fire breaks out on your property, the damages could be even worse because you weren’t there to call the fire department or stop the spread. The good news is that coverage C personal property insurance can help soften the financial blow.

What is coverage C personal property insurance?

Personal property insurance, also known as coverage C, is a part of most homeowner’s insurance policies. This part protects against the financial devastation associated with personal property losses following covered disasters. Personal property losses can be partial, as in damage, or total, as in destroyed or stolen.
Coverage C does not apply to the structural elements of your home; other parts of your homeowner’s policy protect structures and systems like plumbing or electrical. Personal property insurance instead covers things like:
  • Appliances
  • Clothing
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Hygiene-related items
  • Kitchenware
  • Sports equipment
  • Televisions
Basically, personal property is the stuff you put in your house that makes it feel like a home. As such, the loss of personal belongings can be just as devastating as the loss of the home itself. In the case of sentimental items, the loss of personal property is even more heart-wrenching.

In what situations other than fire accidents does coverage C kick in?

Now that we’ve established that coverage C personal property covers fire accidents while on vacation, let’s look at what other situations are protected under this vital part of your homeowner’s policy. Some of the most common incidents resulting in a coverage c insurance claim are:
  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Hurricane
  • Theft
  • Thunderstorms
  • Tornado
  • Vandalism
For the most part, a disaster you didn’t expect and couldn’t prevent is a qualifying event for coverage C personal property insurance. There are, however, a couple of notable exceptions. Earthquakes and floods are rarely built into coverage C. You can, however, purchase additional earthquake or flood insurance that includes some protections for personal belongings.

Types of coverage C personal property insurance

Not all coverage C insurance is the same. Of course, there are different limits and deductibles that you can choose, based on how you value your belongings and how much you can afford to pay out of pocket after a qualifying event. There are two chief kinds of personal property insurance, affecting how much you are paid for a claim.
The first kind of coverage C values your personal property according to its actual cash value. This means insurance will pay what your items could actually sell for at the time of the qualifying event. This method of valuation takes depreciation into account. Let’s use an example of a sofa you bought for $1,000 five years ago. The claims adjuster performs calculations and determines its actual cash value today is $200, so that’s the amount that is applied for that item toward your coverage C personal property claim after that fire accident while on vacation.
The second kind of coverage C values your personal property according to its replacement value. What this means is that you get paid according to how much it will cost to buy new comparable items.
Using the same sofa as an example in a fire accident while on vacation claim, it may cost $1,100 to replace the sofa you bought for $1,000 five years ago, as there has been a bit of inflation on the way. In this case, the claims adjuster applies $1,100 toward your coverage C personal property claim for that item.

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