Property and casualty (P&C) insurance is a blanket term that refers to standard insurance policies that cover both personal property damage and liability. We’re giving you a basic run down of what it is, the types of property and casualty insurance policies you’ll run into, and how you can make sure you’re fully covered.
What does property and casualty insurance cover?
There are two basic parts to P&C coverage: 1) property and 2) casualty.
Property insurance refers to any policies that cover the stuff you own—aka your personal property. This coverage applies to belongings stolen or damaged due to a covered peril, like a burst pipe, fire, or theft. Your “property” could refer to the structure of your house, the items in your house, your car, your high-value toys, and even property your business owns (in some cases).
Basically, this is the insurance that helps cover repairs and replacement for your own property.
Casualty insurance is the coverage for liability. This part of your coverage will help cover expenses related to your legal responsibility (when you’re found at fault) for another party’s losses, including both physical injuries and damages to property. This will typically help cover costs in and out of court, so it will pay for your legal defense fees as well as any retribution you’re required to pay—up to your coverage limits.
This is the insurance that helps you pay another party if you are found responsible for their damages.
What’s NOT part of P&C?
Most insurance you’ll run into offers a property and casualty standard plan. When you talk to an insurance agent about buying home, auto, or boat insurance, for example, they’ll usually offer a cocktail of policies that include both property and casualty.
Health insurance and life insurance are not included in the term “property and casualty.” That’s because these don’t pay for your physical property or liability. Instead, they cover the costs of you (as a human).
Umbrella insurance is also not considered P&C, because it’s a liability-only coverage. Learn more about umbrella insurance here.
What are the types of property and casualty insurance?
1. Auto insurance
Most states require two types of auto liability insurance: bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury liability protects you in the case that you are found at-fault for another party’s injuries or medical bills, and property damage liability covers another party’s property damages (like to their car, fence, etc.). Both of these fall under the “casualty” portion of P&C.
Some states also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which protects you in the case that the other party is found at-fault but doesn’t have adequate liability insurance.
Learn more about the importance of having enough auto liability coverage here.
For the “property” portion of P&C, you can purchase collision coverage and comprehensive coverage to help cover your own property’s expenses. Collision covers damages to your own car in the case of a collision with another car or a stationary object. Comprehensive helps cover “the rest,” like theft, natural disasters, falling objects, and animals.
You’re not usually required to carry property insurance, unless you’re leasing the car or have a loan out on it. In that case, your lender may require property damage coverage.
2. Homeowners insurance
A standard homeowners policy usually includes both property and casualty insurance. The “property” potion typically includes both:
- Dwelling coverage, which helps protect the structure of your home, and
- Contents coverage, which helps cover your belongings inside the home.
Note: Make sure your home inventory is up to date to ensure all of your belongings are protected. Check out these home inventory apps to keep your contents coverage updated with ease.
Your standard homeowners policy likely also includes liability coverage with both personal liability and medical payments. This helps cover incidents where someone is injured on your property as well as some accidents off-property that you are responsible for, like if your dog bites someone or your child breaks a neighbor’s window. Learn more about homeowners liability coverage here.
If your homeowners liability limit doesn’t protect all of your assets, that’s a sign it’s not high enough. We recommend purchasing an umbrella policy to supplement your own homeowners liability to ensure your limits are high enough to protect yourself and your family.
Not sure how much coverage to carry? Call one of our expert insurance advisors today at (844) 300-3364 to learn more.
3. Condo insurance
Condo insurance works similarly to homeowners insurance, except that you’re also dealing with a master association policy owned by the homeowners association. Most condo insurance will include personal property coverage as well as liability coverage.
You can learn more about what your condo insurance covers and excludes here.
4. Renters insurance
Renters insurance covers liability in the same way that homeowners and condo insurance does, but the property portion is a little different. Renters insurance usually doesn’t cover the structure of your home, just the belongings inside of it (aka the “contents coverage”). The structure is typically the responsibility of your landlord, so it would be covered under their insurance.
Like homeowners and condo insurance, if your renters liability doesn’t cover all of your assets, you should consider looking into a supplemental umbrella policy.
5. “Toys” insurance
Property and casualty also applies to “special” insurance for other assets like boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles (RVs), snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles, and golf carts. This refers to anything that you own that could be expensive if damaged or could cause harm to another party.
For example, basic boat insurance will help cover both damage to your own vessel as well as any incidents where you are found at fault.
Get more info on special lines of P&C insurance with the following resources:
- The Ultimate Guide To Insuring Your Boat
- Motorcycle Insurance Guide
- How To Find The Right Kind of RV Insurance
- Common Insurance Claims For Your Favorite Spring Toys
6. Landlord insurance
Landlord insurance protects any properties you own that generate rental income. This will cover damage to the building (property) as well as liability on premises (casualty). If you’re a landlord in any capacity, standard landlord P&C is necessary to stay protected.
7. Business insurance
Your business could also benefit from P&C coverage. Your business owns assets and it also carries a lot of liability with it—no matter what kind of business it is. Owning your own business is always a risk and property and casualty insurance is a good way to mitigate your risk, so you can focus on what really matters: your business.
Click to learn about the 7 types of property and casualty insurance a new business might need.
The purpose of insurance is help you prepare and have a plan to expect the unexpected, so you aren’t left with a huge bill in the case of an incident. Standard property and casualty policies protect you, your assets, and your family.
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