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How much do I need?

The amount of personal property coverage you need depends on how much your property is worth.

You may think your things aren’t worth much, but the average person has over $20,000 worth of stuff. Stuff that’s probably not covered by a landlord’s policy.

This chart shows an example of typical personal property replacement values for a two-bedroom apartment. Your values may run more or less.

Personal Property Replacement Value
Furniture $ 8,907
TV, VCR, Stereo, Tapes, and CDs 1,777
Home Computer 1,647
Microwave 151
Other Appliances 240
Clothing 3,700
Paintings, Prints, Photos 792
Glassware, China, and Silverware 612
Sports Equipment 600
Cameras and Photographer’s Equipment 795
Books 704
Jewelry 1,023
All Other Property 4,000

Take inventory
A great way to determine how much coverage you need is to take a complete inventory of your possessions:
  1. List each item, when you acquired it and the purchase price or current value.
  2. Total up the amounts of these items to give you a rough idea of what your property is worth.
  3. Once this is done, put your inventory in a safe place away from home -- for example, in a bank safe deposit box.
  4. Consider adding photos to your inventory -- they can help if you have a claim.

Something else to keep in mind
Coverage for certain types of property has a dollar limit. Here is a typical list of the types of property that may have "special limits" in a renters policy:
  • Money, bank notes, coins
  • Business property (on and off premises)
  • Securities, negotiable instruments
  • Watercraft, including trailers, furnishings and equipment
  • Trailers (other than boat trailers)
  • Jewelry and furs
  • Firearms (limitation applies to theft only)
  • Silverware and goldware (limitation applies to theft only)
If you have this type of property, you may need special coverage -- either an endorsement or a personal articles policy.

General questions to ask yourself regarding your renters insurance needs
  • How much are my belongings worth?
  • Can I afford to buy it all back again if it were destroyed in a fire or stolen?
  • What would I do in the event of a liability lawsuit against me?