Most homeowner's insurance policies have per-item coverage limits for personal property. For instance, your policy may only insure any one item for a maximum of $1,000. When you have possessions whose values exceed this maximum, you must purchase a floater, or supplementary coverage, for the item(s). This coverage is typically the same thing as a house insurance policy or endorsement. A personal property floater insures the full value of a specific item, such as a diamond ring, that a standard home insurance policy does not cover.

Basics of Personal Article Floaters

Standard home insurance policies cover items like clothing, appliances, furniture, and other common possessions that policyholders store in their homes. Homeowners who have more valuable items in their homes may consider adding a personal property floater to their home insurance policies. The following high-value items are examples of possessions that would warrant this protection:

When you purchase a personal article floater, your insurer covers the item or items at an amount upon which you both agree. Generally, this does not have deductibles, so policyholders will receive full reimbursement for the item's value in the event of a loss. Moreover, this protection typically covers all perils or risks unless an event is specifically excluded in the policy. Most offerings also contain a provision for mysterious disappearances, meaning your personal property floater will provide coverage even if the reason for the loss of the item is unknown.

Purchasing This Protection

To insure your valuable possessions fully, you will need to add a personal property floater to your house insurance policy. Here is how to purchase the additional coverage:

  1. Take an inventory of your valuable possessions. Take pictures or videos of your extremely valuable items to create a record for your insurance company. If possible, supplement the inventory with receipts.
  2. Get the item(s) appraised. Your insurer will require a professional appraisal before they will issue a personal property floater on an item.
  3. Do your research. Look online to estimate how much a personal property floater for your specific item will cost.
  4. Ask your insurance company how to minimize the risk of loss. To protect your valuables, you will want to minimize the risk of loss with things like burglar alarms, deadbolts, etc. Your insurer may even discount your coverage if you install certain safety devices.
  5. Talk to your agent about adding this to your policy. Discuss the cost of adding a personal property floater to your house insurance policy with your agent.