Anything that involves a significant financial risk is something you might want to consider insuring. Wedding, engagement rings, or family heirlooms, often hold more than just sentimental value. Earrings, necklaces, and rings can be small but can be big assets carrying far more than their weight in value. Your insurance carrier may consider jewelry to be outside the realm of personal property coverage. Without guidelines like those associated with homes or cars, choosing to insure your jewelry is a big decision.
Your first step should be talking with your insurance company. Most homeowner and renter’s insurance offer limited coverage on jewelry. Find out how much is covered. Coverage will vary by insurer, but some policies cover upwards to $5,000 while others may cover only a few hundred dollars. Be sure to read the fine print as it relates to jewelry.
Pay particular attention to what happens if you file a claim. Will they cover the cost to have an exact replacement? How is replacement value determined? Do you have to use a special jeweler of their choosing? Most importantly, find out if they will reimburse you the cost that you originally paid or are they going to include appreciation or depreciation in their final payment to you.
There are companies that offer insurance policy’s simply to insure your jewelry should you not have a homeowner or renters’ policy. State Farm, Nationwide and Geico are some of the large companies that offer jewelry specific policies. There are also insurance companies that specialize in jewelry insurance like Gem Shield and Jewelers Mutual. If you have a lot of jewelry you have invested in, it is worthwhile to select a well-known jewelry insurer. Many of these companies provide coverage that exceeds homeowners’ policies and includes loss or disappearance in your home or abroad.
Be aware that when it comes to your rings, many individual jewelers may offer warranties. Usually they do not cover loss of theft. They do however cover regular cleaning and repairs especially when damage is caused by poor craftsmanship or material.
If finances are a concern be aware that a jewelry policy can add up. You may want to consider only insuring your most expensive pieces rather than all of your jewelry. This is called scheduling or adding a rider to your policy. You should always consider the costs and benefits of an insurance policy and the risks of not having one. Keep your appraisals and receipts in a safe and secure location so that you know where they are should a loss occur.