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The holidays are a time to spread Christmas cheer with family, food, and fun gifts. Depending on the year, some presents may be more lavish and expensive than others. Diamond earrings, fine art pieces, gaming laptops, or even antique collectibles can make for great gifts for the right person, but what would happen if this new gift was lost or stolen? A Personal Articles Floater provides the protection you need for specialized items that fall outside of everyday personal belongings.

Personal Property Coverage on Your Home Policy

On a homeowners insurance policy, coverage is built in to cover your items against a loss. Personal Property Coverage is designed to reimburse you for the normal items in your home in the event they are damaged or destroyed in a covered loss. The best way to think about what qualifies as “personal property” is anything that would fall out of your home if it was flipped upside down. From furniture and clothes to electronics, this coverage protects all of the essentials in your home so you can replace them.

An important thing to note with Personal Property Coverage is that it is not created equal; if you wish to have full replacement of your items in a claim, you will want to make sure you opt for Personal Property Coverage at Replacement Cost Value instead of Actual Cash Value. Replacement Cost means that the item will be reimbursed to replace your lost belongings with “like-new” items, whereas Actual Cash Value factors in depreciation. For a couch that you have had for 10 years, your payout will be much lower with Actual Cash Value than Replacement Cost. Make sure you opt for coverage that will not leave you high and dry when a claim happens.

What is a Personal Articles Floater?

Personal Property Coverage has some limitations, which is where a Personal Articles Floater comes in. For example, most insurance companies will limit the max amount they will cover for special items that have a high value or are perhaps somewhat irreplaceable. There are many different items that could fall in this category, and often your insurance company will indicate specific exclusions regarding the property that is not covered. It is important to identify these exclusions or limitations on your own policy and see what items you may have that would be better protected by a Personal Articles Floater.

The most common items that are subject to this type of limit are firearms, fine arts, jewelry, electronics, furs, musical instruments, and collectibles, though this could vary from company to company. If you own these items, a Personal Articles Floater allows you to cover them to their true value. This endorsement is added to your home insurance policy with details about the item and a stated value for the item that is derived from either a receipt or appraisal. Appraisals are done by professionals in specialized industries that can identify the value of the item. This helps the insurance company properly cover the item and ensures you can prove the appropriate Replacement Cost in the event the item is damaged or lost.

For many insurance companies, mysterious disappearance is the primary exclusion for high-value items. This means that certain special items may still fall under Personal Property Coverage unless they are stolen or go missing. For others, even standard causes of loss like a fire or sudden flooding may still result in a lower payout for your expensive laptop or grandmother’s pearls. These items can benefit from the additional, stated coverage offered in a Personal Articles Floater for all sorts of potential accidents, so it is important to review your home insurance for specific verbiage about how these belongings are covered in various loss situations.

Fill Gaps in Your Coverage with a Personal Articles Floater

When you buy items that are expensive or truly one-of-a-kind, it is worthwhile to review your coverage and add any necessary endorsements to properly protect your newest investment. Our personal lines team is happy to review your home insurance policy for any potential gaps and help you protect your special items. If you have some pricey gifts sitting under the tree, call our office and see if a Personal Articles Floater is right for you.

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