Property and Casualty Insurance

Sarah Bourdeau
by Sarah Bourdeau, Regional President, Main Street America Insurance •

You may have heard the terms property and casualty insurance when researching various forms of coverage. That’s because these terms actually cover a wide variety of insurance policies and coverages. Think of it as a large umbrella that you can stretch over your home, car or another personal item to make sure it’s protected when things go wrong. Making sure that your policy has property and casualty insurance, or P&C insurance, can help protect your assets and save you from unexpected expenses in the event of an emergency. First, let’s dive into what each term means and some examples of when you may need them:

What is Property Insurance?

Personal property insurance helps protect physical assets including your house or rental property. Property insurance protects against damages caused by things like accidents, fire, theft and other covered losses. With the right property insurance coverage in place, you can rest assured that your belongings are protected, and in the event of a loss your items will be restored or replaced without breaking the bank.

What is Casualty Insurance?

With casualty insurance, you have liability coverage designed to protect you in the event that you’re found legally responsible for an accident that results in injuries to another person or damage to their property. Because property insurance and casualty insurance cover very different (though both very important) risks, they are often combined to ensure full coverage.

Types of Property and Casualty Insurance

Here’s a look at some of the most common property and casualty insurance policies. An independent insurance agent can also discuss any of these, help explain the difference, look into what coverages you already have, and what policies and coverage amounts you may need based on your unique situation to make sure you’re set up for success.

Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is a type of personal property insurance designed to protect both the home itself and your possessions from covered risks, like theft or fire. A comprehensive homeowners insurance policy will also include liability insurance, covering injuries or damage to another person that occur on your property.

For example, if you’re hosting a holiday dinner and a fire starts in the kitchen, your property insurance will cover smoke or fire damage and replace any items destroyed. However, if your cousin is burned trying to put out the flames, you’ll need liability coverage to ensure you don’t have to pay out of pocket for their injuries.

Renters Insurance

If you’re renting a home, your landlord or property management company should have an insurance policy in place to protect the building itself. However, you’ll still need a renters insurance policy to cover your personal belongings. Renters insurance also often contains liability coverage to protect you and your guests.

Say, for example, you have family in town and your apartment is broken into. With the right coverage, your renters insurance policy will pay to replace stolen items, regardless of whether they belong to you or your guests.

Auto Insurance

Car insurance is perhaps the most obvious example of property and casualty insurance working together to protect you. In the event of an accident in which you are at fault, your auto policy can provide coverage when your vehicle is damaged. Liability insurance, on the other hand, covers damages to the other person’s vehicle as well as paying for their medical care.

For example, say you run a red light and cause an accident in which both cars damaged and the other driver suffers whiplash. If you have full coverage (both liability and physical insurance), you will only be responsible for paying your deductibles – meaning no surprise out-of-pocket costs.

How Property and Casualty Insurance Protect You

As you can see, both property and casualty insurance are important parts of your insurance policies that work together to ensure you are protected from just about anything. Without one, you could be left with gaps in your coverage that result in increased risk, unexpected expenses and even greater stress when the unexpected happens.

Talk to an insurance agent near you to review your coverage.