Purchasing jewelry or other big-ticket items can be an exciting investment, but a standard homeowner policy won’t cover their full value.
Under most homeowner policies, the value of expensive property such as electronics, jewelry and precious stones is only partially covered to keep those policies affordable. To secure the full value of your property, adding a personal articles floater to your policy is the best defense against theft or accidental loss.
“What your insurance covers regularly are the normal perils of loss, such as if your house were to burn down, your items would be covered for fire damage,” said Lisa Whitus, underwriting manager for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. “But if you simply lose an item such as jewelry, there is no coverage. And, if the property is stolen, there’s a $2,500 limit for its reimbursement under the policy.
“For example, if you have a $10,000 wedding band and it’s stolen, and you don’t have a personal articles floater endorsement on your policy for $10,000 with your appraisal, you’re only going to get $2,500 for that set,” she explained. “With a personal articles floater, appraised and scheduled items are typically eligible up to $25,000.”
An articles floater also can be applied to items such as gold and silver, firearms, fine art, furs and musical instruments.
While the personal articles floater will protect the full value of items in the home, it also will cover losses that occur outside of the home. Whitus explained a common instance is when a wearer removes jewelry and accidentally loses it.
Under standard homeowner policies, similar losses wouldn’t be covered.
“A homeowner’s policy on a home includes personal property normally in that home—your couch, your kitchen table, the jewelry in your jewelry box,” Whitus said. “Once you start wearing your jewelry to the store, taking your camera on vacation or your guitar on the road, and you lose them, there’s no coverage without a personal articles floater.
“But once you add these items to your policy with a floater, the endorsement follows the insured item, not the home.”
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