We all have personal items that have great value to us, whether it’s your grandmother’s ring, a rare autograph from a sports player, a valuable painting or special coins passed down to you. In order to protect these special items, special coverage is available alongside traditional condo, tenants, or homeowners insurance in Edmonton. Special limits are typical in all personal property and house insurance policies. Your cherished items may need to be insured separately under a personal articles floater to ensure they are covered in the event that they are damaged or stolen from your home.
Limits of a Typical House Insurance Policy in Edmonton
A typical homeowner’s policy covers the contents in your home such as your furniture, clothing, appliances, etc., but only provides limited coverage for more personal belongings. The dollar value paid out on these valuables can be quite low and may not be enough to cover the item’s cost. On many policies, certain items may have a specific limit, which can range from $500 – $10,000. This means that you would not be covered if you have a single item worth more than the specific limit and if you have several items of significant value. Further, all losses are subject to a deductible.
To avoid the possibility of an item being insufficiently protected in a homeowner’s insurance policy, many insurance companies offer an enhanced coverage. However, even this policy will not cover certain situations, such as a valuable being damaged by a houseguest. If a valued item falls outside the scope of a broad home insurance policy, a personal articles floater may be a viable option.
What is a Personal Articles Floater?
A personal articles floater is an extension of coverage that can only be added to your personal property policy and must be for a location that you occupy. It provides coverage for particular high-value items on an all-risk basis subject to reasonable exclusions, such as jewelry, silverware, antiques, fine arts, furs, and rare coins. For example, a personal articles floater would cover you if a stone fell out of your bracelet or an antique vase was knocked over accidently, but a regular homeowner’s insurance policy may not. The items covered would need to be listed, appraised and pre-submitted to the insurance for approval. You can choose whether to have a deductible and, if so, the amount of the deductible.
What a Personal Articles Floater Entails
A personal articles floater provides a substantially larger level of monetary protection for covered items, such as from $500 to $50,000. A personal articles floater also provides a greater range of coverage, such as the ability to make a claim for accidental breakage or damage from a flood or other natural disaster that a typical home insurance policy would not cover. Coverage extends to losses that occur anywhere in the world instead of just in Canada, which is the extent of coverage provided by a standard policy. This feature is significant for those who travel for business or pleasure and take their musical instruments, laptops, jewelry, and other valuable items with them.
Many high value items are covered under a personal articles floater, including the following:
- Cameras, including associated gear such as filters, sunshades, and meters. Binoculars, telescopes, and projectors may also qualify for coverage but coin-operated devices and radar cameras do not. An additional premium may be required if the camera equipment is used professionally. Typically, there are no special limits on camera equipment unless used professionally; however, as this item is often used outside of the home and is easily lost or misplaced, it is always a benefit to have the additional coverage.
- Jewelry. An original bill of sale or signed appraisal is needed.
- Furs, including any articles of fur, articles trimmed with fur, or where fur is the principal.
- Fine Art, including paintings, oriental rugs and antique furniture.
- Musical Instruments, including sound equipment and cases. An endorsement and additional premium may be required if the items are used professionally.
- Collections and Collectibles, such as coins, stamps, wine, silverware, plateware, pewterware, trophies and sports cards, either on an individual basis or the entire collection.
- Memorabilia, such as an item autographed by a celebrity.
- Rare Books, Glasses and Manuscripts.
- Golf and Other Sports Equipment, including golf carts, except golf balls unless the loss is by fire or theft. An additional premium may apply if the equipment is used professionally.
To obtain a personal articles floater, a detailed list or “schedule” of the property to be covered must be provided. Each item must have an appraised value given and some insurance companies will require proof of that appraisal. If a loss occurs, the insurance company will pay either actual cash value, the amount the property could reasonably be expected to be repaired or replaced, or the amount of insurance, depending on your insurance policy terms.
Obtaining an Appraisal
In order to get started, you should take an inventory of your high value possessions and have a qualified appraiser establish the value of these items. A qualified appraiser can be found in your local area through the phone book or online. The appraisal should include certain basic elements, such as your name and address, the appraisal date, and the purpose of the appraisal (e.g., donation, estate, insurance). Also necessary is the method used in determining value, noting all relevant specifications (e.g., description, cut, clarity, size, weight), the currency for the market valuation (e.g., Canadian, U.S. dollars), a statement of the appraiser’s professional qualifications and his or her statement of belief in authenticity. An appraisal should be updated at least every five years to ensure that the value insured is not over or understated.
Contact Your Independent Insurance Broker in Edmonton
If you have one or more personal items of great value or extreme rarity in the home, a personal articles floater may be necessary. The insurance protection available will provide security for the item and peace of mind for you.
At MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd. in Edmonton, we are independent insurance brokers who can arrange the insurance you need. A personal articles floater may be necessary for items of great importance to you, both in financial value and sentiment. We recommend you take time to consider what cherished assets you have and whether they are currently adequately protected in the event of a loss. Consider a personal articles floater if your house insurance policy in Edmonton does not cover your valuables, for “guaranteed” peace of mind price. We can obtain a free quote for you. Contact us at 780-436-7880.