Protecting Your Valuables: Personal Article Floater

28 February 2024

Introduction to Personal Article Floaters

  • What are personal article floaters and why are they important for protecting valuable personal property?
    • Personal article floaters are a type of insurance that covers movable property that is not fully covered by standard homeowners or renters’ policies.
    • They are important because they provide additional protection for items that have high financial or sentimental value, such as jewelry, art, electronics, and collectibles.
    • They can also cover items that are excluded from standard policies, such as furs, antiques, coin and stamp collections, and sports memorabilia.
    • They can help you recover the full value of your possessions in case of theft, damage, or loss.

Understanding How Personal Article Floaters Work

  • How do these policies’ function, including coverage limits, deductibles, and what types of property are eligible?
    • These policies function as a supplement or an endorsement to your existing homeowners or renters’ policy, depending on your carrier.
    • They typically provide “open peril” coverage, which means that items are covered unless explicitly excluded from the policy.
    • They usually have higher coverage limits and lower deductibles than standard policies, which means that you can get more compensation and pay less out of pocket in case of a claim.
    • The types of property that are eligible vary by insurer, but generally include any movable property that has a value greater than $1,000 or that is not adequately covered by your standard policy.

personal article insurance

The Difference Between Personal Article Floaters and Standard Homeowners Insurance

  • How do personal article floaters complement standard homeowners or renters’ insurance policies by providing additional coverage?
    • Personal article floaters complement standard policies by filling the gaps in coverage that may exist for certain items.
    • Standard policies often have sublimits for items such as jewelry, electronics, and firearms, which means that they only cover a fraction of their actual value.
    • Standard policies may also exclude items that are considered rare, fragile, or collectible, such as furs, antiques, and memorabilia.
    • Personal article floaters can cover the full value of these items and also protect them from perils that are not covered by standard policies, such as accidental breakage, mysterious disappearance, or flood.

What Items Are Typically Covered by Personal Article Floaters?

  • What are some common categories of items insured by floaters, such as jewelry, art, electronics, and collectibles?
    • Some common categories of items insured by floaters are:
      • Jewelry and luxury handbags: These items can be very expensive and easily stolen or lost. They may also appreciate in value over time, which means that their replacement cost may exceed their original purchase price.
      • Art and antiques: These items can be very valuable and fragile. They may also have historical or cultural significance, which makes them irreplaceable.
      • Electronics and cameras: These items can be very costly and prone to damage or malfunction. They may also contain personal or professional data, which makes them important to protect.
      • Collectibles and sports memorabilia: These items can be very rare and sought-after by collectors. They may also have sentimental or emotional value, which makes them priceless.

Assessing Your Need for a Personal Article Floater

  • How can you evaluate the value of your personal items and decide whether a floater is necessary?
    • You can evaluate the value of your personal items by doing the following:
      • Make an inventory of your possessions and categorize them by type, such as jewelry, art, electronics, etc.
      • Estimate the current market value of each item, based on its condition, age, rarity, and demand. You can use online sources, appraisers, or dealers to help you with this task.
      • Compare the value of each item with the coverage limit and deductible of your standard policy. If the value exceeds the limit or the deductible is too high, you may need a floater.
      • Consider the risk of losing or damaging each item, based on its mobility, fragility, and exposure to perils. If the risk is high, you may need a floater.


How to Obtain a Personal Article Floater

  • What is the process of acquiring this type of insurance, including appraisal requirements and documentation?
    • The process of acquiring this type of insurance may vary by insurer, but generally involves the following steps:
      • Contact your agent or insurer and inquire about the availability and cost of a personal article floater. You may need to have a homeowners’ or renters policy with the same insurer to qualify for a floater.
      • Provide a list of the items you want to insure and their estimated values. You may need to provide proof of ownership, such as receipts, invoices, or certificates.
      • Obtain an appraisal for the items that require one, such as jewelry, art, and antiques. You may need to use a certified or licensed appraiser approved by your insurer.
      • Review the policy terms and conditions, such as the coverage amount, the deductible, the exclusions, and the claim process. Make sure you understand and agree with them before signing the policy.

Filing a Claim: What You Need to Know

  • What are some tips for documenting your possessions and proving ownership and value in the event of a loss?
    • Some tips for documenting your possessions and proving ownership and value in the event of a loss are:
      • Keep a detailed and updated inventory of your items, including photos, descriptions, serial numbers, and appraisals. Store it in a safe and accessible place, such as a cloud service, a flash drive, or a fireproof box.
      • Report the loss or damage to your insurer as soon as possible. Provide them with the inventory, the proof of ownership, and the proof of value of the affected items. Follow their instructions and cooperate with their investigation.
      • Preserve the evidence of the loss or damage, such as the broken or stolen items, the police report, or the repair estimate. Do not dispose of or alter anything until your insurer gives you permission.
      • Keep track of your communication and correspondence with your insurer, such as phone calls, emails, letters, and receipts. Document the date, time, name, and content of each interaction.

Comparing Providers: What to Look For

  • What are some factors to consider when choosing an insurer for personal article floaters, such as coverage options, customer service, and claim handling?
    • Some factors to consider when choosing an insurer for personal article floaters are:
      • Coverage options: Compare the types of items, perils, and losses that are covered by different insurers. Look for policies that offer the most comprehensive and flexible coverage for your needs.
      • Customer service: Compare the availability, responsiveness, and professionalism of different insurers. Look for insurers that are easy to reach, helpful, and courteous.
      • Claim handling: Compare the speed, accuracy, and fairness of different insurers. Look for insurers that process claims quickly, pay claims fully, and resolve disputes amicably.

Case Studies: Personal Article Floaters in Action

  • What are some hypothetical examples or anonymized real-life cases where personal article floaters provided crucial financial protection?
    • Some hypothetical examples or anonymized real-life cases are:
      • A couple had a collection of rare coins that they inherited from their grandfather. The coins were worth over $50,000 and were not covered by their standard homeowners policy. They purchased a personal article floater to insure the coins for their full value. One day, their house was burglarized and the coins were stolen. Thanks to their floater, they were able to recover the entire amount of their loss.
      • A woman had a diamond necklace that she received as a gift from her husband on their anniversary. The necklace was worth $10,000 and was covered by her standard renters policy, but with a $2,000 deductible. She decided to buy a personal article floater to lower her deductible to $100. One day, she accidentally dropped the necklace down the drain while washing her hands. Thanks to her floater, she only had to pay $100 to replace the necklace.
      • A man had a painting that he bought at an auction for $5,000. The painting was appraised at $15,000 and was covered by his standard homeowners policy, but with a $1,000 deductible. He opted to get a personal article floater to increase his coverage to $15,000 and reduce his deductible to $500. One day, a fire broke out in his home and damaged the painting. Thanks to his floater, he received $14,500 to repair the painting.
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