What Is Off-Premises Coverage?

Off-premises coverage in a homeowners insurance policy protects your personal belongings when they are away from your primary residence. This coverage even extends when you’re traveling within the U.S. or abroad. A standard homeowners policy usually includes off-premises coverage but is purchasable as an add-on rider if it’s not.

Keep reading to see when homeowners insurance off-premises coverage applies, why you should have it and what exclusions you can expect.

How Does Off-Premises Coverage for Homeowners Work?

Off-premises coverage is usually included in a standard homeowners policy and protects your personal belongings if they’re located somewhere other than your primary residence. Off-site personal property are protected for covered perils in your policy, including theft, vandalism and fire.

Below are some examples of when off-premises coverage may apply:

  • Traveling: Your personal belongings are protected, whether you’re traveling within the U.S. or to another country.
  • Personal belongings inside your car: Your valuables will also be protected if you leave them in your car. Your auto insurance plan will cover vehicle for physical damage and any stock equipment (car stereo) that is stolen, but your homeowners policy may protect any unattached items, such as electronics or clothes.
  • Storage units: Items kept in storage units or moving trucks can also be covered. This means if your possessions are stolen while in storage, you could be compensated for your losses.
  • Student housing: Personal belongings lost while your child is living in a college dorm are usually covered, such as their laptop being stolen while at study hall. Your home insurance coverage does not extend to students living off-campus — in an apartment, for instance. In this case, a separate renters insurance is required.

While personal property coverage may extend to anywhere in the world, the limits are usually lower.

Off-premises coverage carries a sub-limit — typically 10% of your standard personal property coverage.

For instance, a homeowners policy with $100,000 of contents coverage will only provide you with $10,000 of protection for items located away from your primary residence. Therefore, be careful about taking valuables out of your home unnecessarily. For example, a child dorming at school may want to leave jewelry and other valuables at home.

Does My Standard Homeowners Policy Include Off-Premises Coverage?

A standard homeowners insurance policy will usually include off-premises coverage. If your homeowners plan doesn’t have off-premises coverage, you may be able to purchase a separate rider at an additional cost.

You may need to seek insurance from a different provider if your current carrier doesn’t offer off-premises coverage. Remember: the limit for your off-premises coverage through your homeowners policy will be small. You could get more coverage by increasing your personal property limits, which would also increase the 10% sub-limit. However, this would also increase your home insurance premium.

Am I Covered if I Have Items Stolen While on Vacation?

Your off-premises coverage may provide compensation if you have valuables stolen while you’re on vacation. Luckily, your off-premises coverage should provide protection even if you’re vacationing outside of the country.

It’s a good idea to let your insurance company know when and where you’re going on vacation before you begin your trip. If you do suffer a loss, you should contact the local authorities and be sure to ask how you can obtain a copy of the police report. This document will be useful when filing an insurance claim for reimbursement.

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Are There Any Exclusions When It Comes to Off-Premises Coverage?

Below are some common coverage exclusions your insurance company will typically list for your policy’s off-premises coverage:

  • Earth movement: An earthquake, sinkhole, minor tremor or other earth movement are excluded from insurance coverage. An endorsement or standalone policy is necessary if you want coverage for this type of peril.
  • Intentional loss: Your insurance will not cover property you intentionally lose or damage. Attempting to file a claim after damaging or purposely losing a piece of personal property is committing insurance fraud, which can result in fines and even jail time.
  • Nuclear hazards: Any personal property that is damaged or destroyed due to a nuclear weapon or an accident with a nuclear reactor will be excluded from coverage on your policy.
  • War: If you happen to find yourself in the middle of a warzone and your personal belongings are damaged or destroyed, your off-premises coverage will not provide financial reimbursement.
  • Vehicle stereo system: The stereo system of your car is not something that will be covered by your off-premises coverage. Instead, your auto insurance coverage may reimburse you for this type of auto-related loss.
  • Your college student gets an apartment: While your off-premises coverage may cover your child’s laptop while they’re staying in student housing, it will not cover that laptop if your child moves into their own apartment. Your college student would need to buy a renters policy.

When Do You Need Off-Premises Coverage?

You should have off-premises coverage if you intend to travel with personal belongings, you have valuables stored away from your primary dwelling or you have a child who is living in student housing while at college. Remember: only 10% of your homeowners insurance's contents coverage limit will apply to damaged or stolen items located away from your primary residence.

FAQs

How do I know if I have off-premises coverage?

You can find out if your policy has off-premises coverage by looking at a copy of your insurance policy. If you’re unsure, call and confirm with your insurance agent.

Are items in my vehicle covered by home insurance?

Your homeowners insurance should provide coverage for items in your car that are not attached to the vehicle, such as phones and iPads. Items like your car stereo are typically insured under your auto policy.

Does home insurance cover theft outside the home?

Your homeowners insurance will protect your personal belongings outside of your home, typically up to 10% of your personal property coverage. 

Is theft a covered peril?

Theft is a covered peril under your off-premises coverage. Off-premises coverage can extend worldwide, covering you for theft even while traveling abroad or while your child is dorming at college.

Are items borrowed by my kid covered when he’s away at college?

Personal items your child has with them while they are away at college will be protected by your off-premises coverage if they live in student housing. Coverage does not extend if they are living off-campus in an apartment — in this case, a renters insurance policy would be necessary.

Key Takeaways

  • Off-premises coverage protects your personal belongings if they’re located somewhere other than your home, which includes losses while traveling or when your child is living in student housing.
  • Off-premises coverage limits are typically only 10% of your personal property coverage limits.
  • Standard homeowners insurance usually includes off-premises coverage but may be sold as an add-on rider if it is not included.

You need insurance that will cover your possessions wherever they are. Enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to receive your free homeowners insurance quotes.

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