It all depends on the policy and company you choose. As an example, for my 2 old cars I have an agreed value policy that is total cause coverage. Should it be a loss due to fire, flood, theft, etc., the payout is the amount agreed to on the policy. I would guess similar coverage for books valued at $1K to be under $50/year. One thing is sure, if you have none, you have no one to argue with over the value Just do your homework checking out the company. The big problem with Sandy came with the second homes and those without flood insurance. They are left to FEMA grants and govt loans, if they can get them.