Protecting Precious Jewelry: Why You Should and How to Do it
Jewelry often holds precious memories that we cherish looking back on. From your grandmother’s ring to the anniversary band your husband gave you on your twentieth – your jewelry holds years of sentiment.
Just imagine the nightmare: You return home after a beautiful Valentine’s dinner with your husband when you recognize your den window is broken! Then, you recognize the front door is cracked open. The enjoyment of returning has suddenly vanished as you realize your home has been burglarized.
Your laptop and Samsung TV are gone, but thankfully your jewelry collection is untouched because you stored it away securely in a safe you’ve mounted onto your closet wall. The thought of having lost so many precious articles of jewelry convinces you to look into insuring your jewelry.
Why to Insure Jewelry
Some people who have a homeowners or renters insurance policy might think it’s redundant to purchase a separate policy for their jewelry. However, in most cases, this isn’t the case.
Homeowners and renters insurance policies cover a lot: replacement of personal belongings, repair for damages from a tornado, and lodging for you because your home is uninhabitable from that tornado – many things. However, most policies only cover your personal belongings to a certain amount. Items and collections that hold a high value, such as jewelry, typically need an insurance rider or endorsement.
This isn’t to say that every piece of jewelry you own needs to be covered - pieces like your college class ring or fashion jewelry. Some types of jewelry are particularly favorable candidates for jewelry insurance:
Jewelry with High Monetary Value
Pieces like engagement rings and anniversary bands are often insured by individuals because they carry both a high monetary value and a high personal value. The average engagement ring spend in 2017 was $6,351!
Jewelry with High Personal Value
Pieces of a large collection or family heirlooms may or may not have a high monetary value, but it certainly has a high personal value.
Although these articles may be difficult to replace, and your insurance check won’t bring back the stolen earrings, it will give you the opportunity to try to replace them or invest in new jewelry that you can mold into what might become an heirloom.
How to Insure Jewelry
Step 1: Get an Appraisal
The appraisal is key to determining the true value of your jewelry so your agent can help you select the appropriate amount of coverage. The price of gems and metals changes quickly, so the appraisal is the best place to start. The American Gem Society maintains a listing of certified appraisers searchable by state or zip code.
Step 2: Secure Documentation
Secure your appraisal, a purchase receipt and photos of your jewelry in a safe place, such as a fireproof safe until you can meet with your local insurance agent. You can always add an extra layer of protection by storing these items electronically, too.
Step 3: Contact Your Local Insurance Agent
Your local insurance agent is an expert at determining how much coverage you need. There are a variety of variables that can influence how much your policy covers and how much it costs.
Coverage for your jewelry is just about as unique as the jewelry itself; your agent will tailor the policy specifically to your needs. Here are a few things to consider:
Causes of Loss
Most policies will cover theft, for example, but an accidental loss might not be covered without a specific clause. Would you want coverage for an accidental loss?
Type of Coverage
Is your jewelry covered for the original cost or appraisal of the jewelry, the current replacement value, or a portion thereof?
Your insurance company may require you to have repair or replacement claims done by a preferred jeweler. This isn’t necessarily good or bad, just something to keep in mind if you have a favorite jeweler who isn’t covered under your policy.
Cost to Insure Jewelry
The cost to insure your jewelry is dependent on many factors – perils covered, limits, your deductible, etc. It’s impossible to say what the cost would be to insure your jewelry without speaking to an insurance agent.