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“Where am I going to live tonight?” It is one of many questions racing through the mind of an insured who has just suffered a loss, whether there was a fire or flood in their home or damage resulting from a larger catastrophe.

What is not immediately top of mind is what they are going to wear tomorrow. Or the next day. Or even the next week.

There is no doubt that garments and other fabric items in a home have become a large and fast-growing part of a contents claim. Simply consider the value of what’s in your closet. If you are like most Americans, you have at least one closet filled with clothes, shoes, belts and other garments. A typical family can accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in clothing in just a few short years. In fact, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that Americans spent more than $338 billion on clothes and shoes in 2010—more than furnishings and durable household equipment ($258.5 billion), recreational goods and vehicles ($335.5 billion), and nearly as much as motor vehicles and parts ($345 billion). Also, consider the value of window treatments, bedding, towels, purses and sentimental items, whether a wedding gown or cherished heirloom.

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