Is Jewelry Insurance Worth It?
Wedding rings, heirloom necklaces, diamond bracelets and earrings, expensive watches — you want to protect your valuable jewelry, right? Unfortunately, accidents, theft, and damage happen, and jewelry is not exempt. Did you know, for instance, that cold temperatures make your fingers shrink? That’s why people often lose rings when swimming or exercising outdoors in the winter.
One of the best way to protect your valuables (and provide peace of mind) is to invest in jewelry insurance, which is well worth the relatively minor cost when you consider all the ways your rings, watches, bracelets, and necklaces can get lost, stolen, or damaged.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Jewelry?
Most homeowners or renters insurance policies do cover jewelry to some extent, but coverage limits not be enough to fully replace a piece that is lost or stolen. Your coverage might be limited to specific types of loss events, such as a fire or burglary. If your expensive jewelry gets lost or broken under other circumstances, you may not have enough coverage to be protected.
What Does Jewelry Insurance Typically Include?
Jewelry insurance covers you against losses in the event your valuables are lost, stolen, or damaged. It may also cover certain cases of “mysterious disappearances” — in other words, instances where you aren’t sure whether the jewelry was stolen or lost. It’s important to note, however, that jewelry insurance doesn’t cover typical wear and tear, but you can ask your jeweler about adding on a warranty policy for an additional fee.
The easiest way to insure your jewelry is to add a “floater” or “rider” type of coverage to your existing homeowners or renters insurance policy (see details below).
How to Insure Jewelry: 4 Easy Steps
1. Save Jewelry Files/Photos
Save all of the receipts in a secure file. If you have a diamond grading report, great! Save that, too. Take photos of your expensive jewelry. Keep these documents all together in a safe place and in a digital file as part of your home inventory. Don’t have an inventory yet? Here’s how to make one.
2. Get an Appraisal
When people ask about insuring jewelry, they’re sometimes surprised to hear that bringing in a store receipt is not enough. Unfortunately, you’ll have an extra errand to run: getting an appraisal from a reputable jeweler. This often requires making an appointment and, yes, you guessed it — paying the appraiser/gemologist. Make sure you understand the process and price beforehand. For example, can the appraiser do the job in front of you, or will you need to drop your jewelry off? In the second case, allow yourself enough time to complete a “take-in” sheet and possibly a “plot diagram,” if necessary, so there are no concerns about your piece getting switched. Hourly rates for jewelry appraisal range from $50 to $150, according The Knot, which offers this helpful article on wedding ring appraisal
3. Visit a Local Insurance Agent
Call your Massachusetts insurance agency and schedule an appointment to review your jewelry coverage. You don’t have to visit the agent in person, but an office visit might be more convenient for those who need help creating or saving the digital files mentioned in the first step.
4. Ask about a “Floater” or a “Rider”
There are two ways to cover expensive jewelry. Most people will already have some coverage through their MA home insurance or MA renter’s insurance. However, those policies are limited to a certain dollar value, usually just a few thousand dollars. So if your jewelry is worth more than $1,000 or $2,000, you might not have full coverage. If you wanted, you could ask your agent about raising these standard limits, but home insurance only steps in to help you with specific types of losses (e.g. burglary or fire). If you simply lose your jewelry, or inadvertently leave it someplace, you’d probably be out of luck. So we tell clients to ask about getting a “floater,” instead.
A floater or rider is a piece of coverage that gets added to your home or renter’s insurance. It can protect you against accidental losses — like a diamond stud that falls out of your ear or an engagement diamond that falls from its setting. (You would also be covered against theft, fire, flood, etc.) With floaters, you usually don’t have to pay any deductible, either — so no out-of-pocket costs when replacing your valuable jewelry.
What Are the Expected Costs of Jewelry Insurance?
For diamond jewelry, coverage runs about $1 to $2 for every $100 in replacement costs. Therefore, a $5,000 piece of jewelry might cost somewhere around $50 – $100 to insure every year.
How to Choose the Best Jewelry Insurance Company for You
Though it is possible to buy coverage from national companies without any assistance from a licensed agent, we don’t believe that’s the best option. We recommend selecting a provider that’s already familiar with your insurance policies — a licensed, reputable agent you can trust who will go above and beyond to help.
We believe you should choose an independent agency like C&S. We specialize in serving the Bay State, and we act as advisors and advocates working on your behalf. We have specialized insurance agents who understand the intricacies of jewelry insurance, and we’ll review your insurance policies for accuracy at least twice a year to make sure you understand your insurance costs and receive the best coverage at the best rates available in the market.
Q: Is jewelry insurance worth it?
A: Jewelry insurance is a smart investment when you consider the number of ways your valuables can get lost, stolen, or damaged. Knowing that your jewelry is covered will also provide you with peace of mind.
Q: Do you need an appraisal to buy jewelry insurance?
A: Most of the time, yes, an appraisal is required. But it is well worth the time and investment (hourly rates for jewelry appraisal range from $50 to $150).
Q: What isn’t covered by a jewelry insurance policy?
A: Here are a few things that aren’t covered:
- Typical wear and tear
- Purposely damaging or losing a piece of jewelry
- Routine maintenance (sizing, inspections, etc.)
- Loss or damage due to military action or seizure from the authorities
- Damage due to pests or rodents
Do you still have questions about how to insure jewelry? Contact us today! Give our office a call, send us an email, or stop in and visit your agent — we’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide more information.