Unscheduled Personal Property

What Is Unscheduled Personal Property?

Unscheduled personal property is a term used in the property insurance sector that refers to personal possessions that are insured under a policy without being individually listed in a separate section, or "schedule," of the insurance contract.

Typically, unscheduled personal property consists of relatively low-value items such as clothing, jewelry, and electronics. Insurance contracts will typically insure up to a certain total amount of such items without requiring each one to be separately identified.

Key Takeaways

  • Unscheduled personal property consists of assets that are insured in a property insurance contract.
  • They are generally low-value items and do not require individual appraisals.
  • Assets that are more valuable must be separately appraised and described in schedules added to the insurance contract.

Understanding Unscheduled Personal Property

Unscheduled personal property insurance tends to cover items not valued highly enough to warrant separate insurance. Under homeowners insurance or renter's insurance, for instance, clothes, jewelry, common sports equipment, kitchen appliances, furniture, and cameras and other small electronics typically qualify as unscheduled personal property. In the event of a fire or other catastrophic loss covered by the policy, the policyholder simply adds up all of these unscheduled items, estimates their total value, and submits them for compensation. This saves the policyholder and the insurance company from having to separately evaluate every individual item.

Insurance companies typically place limits on the amount of coverage that applies to specific types of unscheduled property. A policy could cover $5,000 worth of unscheduled property, for example, but have limits of up to $750 for clothing, $1,000 for jewelry, and $2,000 for lost or damaged cash. Similarly, unscheduled personal property may be subject to deductibles, either for specific types of property or for their combined amount.

Property insurance often involves a mixture of scheduled and unscheduled property. A policy might have $5,000 of coverage for unscheduled property, for instance, plus additional coverage for more-valuable items—such as fine art or precious metals—disclosed in one or more schedules. These special items would need to be separately appraised to establish their monetary value. A floater insurance contract would be added as a rider to the property insurance that would need to specify each item’s worth and whether they can be replaced with their actual cash value, agreed amount value, or if equivalent assets would need to be found.

Because the actual cash value of an item takes depreciation into account, actual cash value is generally lower than an agreed amount value, but it is also less expensive coverage.

Example of Unscheduled Personal Property

Michael recently moved to a new city. After transferring his possessions to his new apartment, he decides to purchase insurance to protect himself against the risk of theft, fire, and other potential threats. His property consists of clothing, furniture, electronics, and a family heirloom given to him by his grandmother.

Michael determines that the value of his clothing, furniture, and electronics is approximately $5,000. In researching his insurance options, he determines that these items can be readily covered as unscheduled personal property. This means that he could claim up to a certain amount in total losses arising from this combination of assets as long as the losses from each type of asset are below that type’s maximum coverage level.

In order to insure his family heirloom, however, Michael needs to get it appraised. To his surprise, he discovers that the heirloom is worth much more than he had expected. For this reason the heirloom is separately insured rather than being included along with his unscheduled personal property. The description and appraised value of the heirloom is therefore included in a separate schedule of his insurance contract.