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What is Irreplaceable If There is Flood or Water Damage?

What is Irreplaceable If There is Flood or Water Damage?

When you apply for renter’s insurance (because you need to be prepared for water damage if you are a renter) or homeowner’s insurance you may see the term “irreplaceable items” on the policy.  You might also see advice given on how to protect your “irreplaceable items” in case of a flood or water damage.  What are these items and what does this phrase include.

Papers and Personal Items

In many cases, your irreplaceable items include personal items and papers such as family photos and albums, personal items of jewelry, and other items that you cannot simply replace at the store.  Your family pictures cannot be replaced and many jewelry items are personal, as are family keepsakes such as your grandparents’ marriage certificate and other such heirlooms.  Keepsakes and gifts are also often considered irreplaceable.


Very valuable assets are often considered irreplaceable if they’re unique and original.  For example, artwork including paintings, portraits, ceramics, and other valuable items cannot be replaced since they’re one-of-a-kind.  Antiques are also irreplaceable since they too are original and not mass produced.  In some cases very valuable cars could be considered irreplaceable, if they’re vintage or antique models.  These types of items should be considered when you write up an insurance policy since you want to have their full value covered.

What’s Not Included

When considering what is irreplaceable, you can often easily distinguish these pieces by considering what’s not included.  For example, you may not be able to find the same exact pieces of clothing as you have in your closet but you can replace them with comparable items.  You can do the same for your furniture, mass produced artwork and accessories, appliances, and electronics.

Remember that “irreplaceable” doesn’t mean that you cannot get the same brand and model; it means that you couldn’t find something very similar to the item at a retail store, or that it is unique for some reason.

This also applies to other paperwork that can be replaced.  For example, you probably cannot get a new copy of your grandparents’ marriage certificate, but you can easily replace yours if it’s lost or damaged in a flood.  Your diploma is very important to you but it too can be replaced.  These types of papers are not considered irreplaceable.

If you’re applying for insurance then talk to your agent about what should and should not be included in your policy when it comes to your irreplaceable items.

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