Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 11, 2021

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The typical homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage for your personal belongings.

This includes items such as electronics, clothing, and furniture, up to a specified percentage of the coverage amount for your dwelling.

There are also “sub limits” of coverage for “special” items such as jewelry, fur coats, and silverware. These are predetermined amounts, normally between $1,000 and $2,500.

But what if you need to insure belongings that exceed the lower pre-set values, or if you want to insure your items against losses other than theft or destruction by covered perils?

For example, if the diamond fell out of your wedding ring, you would not be covered by the typical homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.

This is where “personal articles insurance,” formally known as a Personal Articles Floater (PAF), comes into play.

A Personal Articles Floater is an actual insurance policy, as opposed to an endorsement or extended coverage type on an existing policy.

It will afford you higher coverage limits as well as protect against the causes of loss not covered on a homeowner’s policy.

The term “floater” means just that; the policy “floats” or travels with your items of value. There are also commercial floater policies for contractor’s tools.

What can be covered under Personal Articles Insurance?

The list is extensive, but here’s a snapshot of the more common items in no particular order (remember, these items should exceed the $1,000 to $2,500 coverage for your homeowner’s policy):

– Furs
– Jewelry
– Firearms
– Camera equipment (both digital and old school)
– Golf equipment
– Art collections
– Grandma’s fine china and other silverware
– Your musical instruments
– Personal computers

There is typically no deductible associated with a Personal Articles Floater.

But make sure you carefully read your policy and/or ask your agent in the event you aren’t certain, as some items may require a $100 deductible for breakage caused by certain perils.

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What am I covered against with Personal Articles Insurance?

As previously mentioned, a PAF provides more aggressive coverage than a homeowner’s policy for both causes of loss it and the higher limits.

For example, mysterious disappearances and breakage of your items can be covered under this policy. Two luxuries you are not afforded by a homeowner’s insurance policy.

Where are my items covered under Personal Articles Insurance?

A PAF will cover most items worldwide. There is nowhere on the planet you don’t have coverage. A typical homeowner’s insurance policy may only extend coverage to the U.S. and Canada.

Fine arts are the only outlier in the “where” portion of a PAF policy. These items are subject to coverage in the U.S. and Canada, similar to every item in the homeowner’s policy.

If you have high value, or specialty items, whether a homeowner or renter, you may require a PAF to ensure you have the necessary coverage to replace or repair them in the unfortunate event a loss occurs.

Contact your local independent agent if you are not sure what your homeowner’s or renter’s policy covers. As with all types of insurance, it’s generally better to pay a small amount upfront than be sorry later.