Q. I just finished packing my bags for a trip. Will my homeowners insurance cover any of this stuff?
A. Yes! Our homeowners policies cover your personal effects anywhere in the world.
Spring is here! Fresh flowers show their colors, blue skies are a regular sight, and a few days have been downright warm! As summer approaches, people make vacation plans, and around this time each year I notice an uptick in customer inquiries about coverage for personal effects while traveling. Previously I touched on the most common travel-related question I receive, "Does my PEMCO policy cover me while driving a rental car?", but today let's focus on coverage for your personal belongings.
Customers are often surprised when I inform them that their renter, condo, or homeowners policy will cover their belongings while traveling out of the country. You'll find the pertinent information plain as day in the contract: "We cover property owned by or used by an insured while it is anywhere in the world." I think it's safe to say that until commercial space travel becomes normal, you'll be hard-pressed to find a travel destination that isn't somewhere in this world. We give you a pretty wide coverage area to work with.
The most common situation posed to me by potential travelers is whether or not their stuff will be covered if stolen from a taxicab or hotel room. Theft is one of the named perils covered under the contract, so you'll most likely have coverage if your luggage is taken from the room without your permission. There are limits to how much coverage is provided for the theft of certain types of property, jewelry being a prime example. Read my blog post, "Does my homeowners policy limit coverage for certain belongings?" for more information about those limitations and advice on how to increase them.
Of course, theft is not the only threat to your belongings when traveling. Luggage can disappear while in transit, a hotel blaze could cause fire or smoke damage, and a volcano could even erupt while staying on a Hawaiian island. However, there are some differences in the renter, condo, and homeowners contracts that can alter the scenarios for which there is coverage. Unfortunately, if I tried to address all coverage in a single post, you might wonder if I'm actually just a legal contract that sprang to life and published a blog! I encourage you to discuss upcoming travel plans with your agent or a Customer Service Representative to ensure all of your concerns are addressed.