Most standard homeowner’s policies provide coverage for damage to personal property. Personal property includes such things as clothing, furniture, artwork, jewelry, furs, firearms and electronic devices. However, this coverage is limited in scope and amount. Most policies limit the scope of coverage to losses caused by certain events. For example, coverage is usually extended for loss caused by fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, explosion, vandalism and accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic fire protective sprinkler system or from within a household appliance. Most policies also limit the amount of coverage available for certain losses. For example, dollar limits ranging from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars exists for damage or for loss to money, securities, jewelry, artwork, firearms, electronic devices and business property. Higher limits usually exist for damage to clothing, furniture and appliances.
A “personal articles floater” provides additional coverage for personal property, over the standard coverage provided most homeowner’s insurance policies. A personal articles floater is a type of stand-alone coverage typically added to an existing homeowner’s insurance policy. An additional premium is charged for such coverage, and the amount usually depends upon the amount of coverage purchase. Often times, particularly with extensive jewelry or collectibles, an insurer will want the policyholder to schedule or inventory property covered under the personal articles floater. Each item must have an appraised value attached to it, and some insurance companies require the insured to provide it with a copy of the appraisal. If the property is lost, stolen or destroyed, the insurer will pay the agreed upon pre-loss value of the item. Under a personal articles floater, the scope of coverage is often broader than that under the standard homeowner’s policy, meaning that certain causes of loss excluded from coverage under the standard policy are covered under the personal articles floater.
If you own valuable jewelry or other items of personal property that would be expensive to replace, a personal articles floater is worth investigating. The cost is usually modest in comparison to the value of the property covered and is usually a fraction of the cost of the standard homeowner’s policy. An annual review of your insurance coverage with your insurance agent is a good idea and a discussion regarding your need for and the cost of personal articles floater should be part of that discussion.
If you have any questions regarding the content of this article, please feel free to call the Law Offices of The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. at (561) 737-3133.