Jewelry Insurance: How to Insure Your Jewelry
“A diamond is forever,” goes the famous De Beers slogan for engagement rings. While the slogan now seems timeless, is a diamond really forever? Not if you drop it down the garbage disposal one day or lose it on a roller coaster.
And what about the jewelry you don’t wear all the time, but leave at home? Imagine coming home one day from vacation only to discover a thief has gotten away with your precious family heirlooms. That would be a tragedy under any circumstances. But if you didn’t have jewelry insurance, the loss would be double: sentimental and financial.
Is it worth it to insure your jewelry? There are two main drawbacks. It costs money, for starters— you will be paying into it continuously and indefinitely.
How much does it cost? On average, you can expect a policy for a single ring to cost you $1-$2 per year for every $100 it would cost to replace the ring. For a $500 engagement ring, this would make the policy very low—only about $5-$10. For a $5,000 ring, you might pay between $50-$100 per year. If you think about it, this is still very reasonable, considered as a percentage!
The other big drawback is that you cannot truly replace something sentimental; its sentimental value is lost forever with it. But the benefit is financial, and depending on the monetary worth of your jewelry, that can add up quite a bit.
When you insure your jewelry, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars. Imagine having to replace a $5,000 item of jewelry all because it fell down the drain! Suddenly that $50 per year wouldn’t seem like much.
Types of Jewelry Insurance
There are a couple of options for getting jewelry insurance. Do you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance? If so, you have the option of purchasing an extension for your jewelry. You may not even need to, depending on the personal property limits and the value of your jewelry (make sure to check the limit per item, and not just overall!).
If your jewelry runs above the item or group limits, you can purchase what is called an “extension” or “rider” or “floater policy.” You can get one of these for a specific item of jewelry or for your entire collection.
Alternately, if you do not have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance and have no interest in it, then you can purchase jewelry insurance from a company which specializes in it. There are a number of independent businesses which specialize in nothing but jewelry coverage. This is also an option if you have renter’s insurance but your provider simply does not offer the type of policy you need.
“Scheduled jewelry insurance” is the name for a policy which is separate from your renter’s policy. This name applies whether your renter’s insurance company is covering the jewelry or an independent third party company is doing the job.
Before you can get your jewelry insured, you must get it appraised. That way the insurance provider can give you a quote for coverage. The value of your ring or other jewelry will be considered, along with the theft rates in the area where you live, and the deductible on your policy.
As usual with insurance, higher deductibles mean lower monthly premiums, and vice versa.
What Do You Need to Apply for Jewelry Insurance?
Before you can get a policy to cover your jewelry, there are a few things you will need:
- The original receipt. If you don’t have it, it’s no big deal. It can certainly make the process go more quickly and smoothly if you do, though.
- Certificates. When you purchase precious gemstone jewelry, especially diamond jewelry, you probably received a certificate from the GIA or the EGL or another professional organization. Hopefully you kept that certificate. If you did, you will want to bring it with you when you apply for coverage.
- Photographs. Even if these are included as part of your appraisal, it is wise to take some extra shots for the insurer and for your own records. Make sure you get a shot of every angle.
- A professional jewelry appraisal. This is the most important thing you need. In fact, without it, you probably will not qualify for insurance at all, especially if the item you want to insure is expensive. You need to make sure it is a third-party appraisal, not one provided by the store where you bought the jewelry (for a number of reasons, this is always your best option while jewelry shopping).
Questions to Ask While Buying Jewelry Insurance
Not all jewelry insurance policies are the same. Some policies cover only certain kinds of loss, or provide only certain forms of compensation.
While you are shopping for your jewelry insurance policy, you need to be sure to read the fine print and ask the agent any questions you might have about the coverage.
- Is this policy for a single item or for a group of items? What are the individual and group limits for all of the items covered?
- What kinds of loss are my items protected against? Theft? Accidents? What about coverage for damage? What if a diamond falls out or the band gets scratched? What circumstances are not covered?
- Is everything I need covered under this policy? Are certain items not covered?
- What documentation do you need in order to file a claim?
- Will your ring be covered based on its present value or its value at the time that you lose it?
- Are there any events that could alter your coverage? For example, what happens if you move to another neighborhood which has a higher crime rate?
- What kind of compensation will the company provide should you lose your jewelry? Will you receive a check in the amount, or will they instead pay your jeweler to replace the item in question? Will they allow you to select a jeweler of your choice, or require you to use their preferred jeweler? What happens if the item lost was a custom, one-of-a-kind item?
It takes time to look over all the fine print associated with a jewelry insurance policy, and the questions above are a starting point, but not necessarily an exhaustive list.
Knowing what you are getting is definitely worth it, though. You would hate to spend money on premiums every year only to discover that when you need it, your insurance isn’t there for you.
While you are at it, be sure to find out whether there is anything you can do to save money on your premiums. Just as there are generally certain things you can do to save on your auto or homeowner’s insurance, there are sometimes things you can do to cut back on your jewelry insurance premiums.
Some companies might give you a discount if you store your jewelry in a bank safe deposit box, or if you install a home security system.
Finally, don’t forget there are certain things you can do to protect your jewelry on your own, with or without a jewelry insurance policy!
A home safe not only can potentially save you money on your policy, but it can also prevent theft, especially if it is bolted down. Avoid wearing jewelry while you are swimming or doing anything else particularly active, and take off rings before doing manual labor.
Ensure that your rings fit properly, and regularly check to make sure none of your jewelry is in need of repair. If you do find a problem, take your jewelry immediately to a professional jeweler repairperson to get it fixed. Taking these steps can help to ensure that for you, a diamond really will last forever!