Wedding insurance is a great way to make sure the Big Day goes off without a hitch. But what about protecting your investments after your wedding? Have you thought about engagement ring insurance for that gorgeous rock?
Or perhaps you’re not married, but you have other valuable items of jewelry to protect. Maybe an antique brooch from your grandmother or a pocket watch from your great-great-grandfather. Jewelry is expensive and—in the case of heirlooms—often irreplaceable. But having jewelry coverage on your gems, gold, and other precious metals can help if your engagement ring is lost.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the more common questions that you may have about getting jewelry insured.
Q. Do I need to buy special “jewelry insurance?”
A. Not if you don’t want to.
Most homeowner’s policies have very limited jewelry insurance coverage (you may only receive compensation up to $1,000), but will offer an endorsement off your existing policy known as a Personal Articles Floater.
If you go this route for your engagement ring insurance, make sure you update your homeowner’s policies as the ring changes hands. Before you give the ring to your fiancee, it goes on your policy. After she (hopefully) says yes, the ring should go on her homeowner’s policy (provided you’re not already living together). Once she moves in with you, it will go back on your policy.
If you don’t have a renter’s or homeowner’s policy (or you want more coverage), consider buying an Inland Marine Floater. (No, you don’t need a yacht to purchase one.) This stand-alone policy covers portable items that are frequently in transport…like jewelry. And because it’s not tied to your homeowner’s policy, your home insurance rates won’t be affected if you have a claim for your lost jewelry.
Q. Do I need an appraisal to insure my jewelry?
A. If you are purchasing a Personal Articles Floater to cover your valuable jewelry, an appraisal is essential in establishing the insurable value. The cost of precious metals and stones changes frequently, which is why companies often require annual appraisals.
You can get a jewelry appraisal from any certified appraiser for a small fee. Most jewelry stores and industry professionals can easily refer you to a trustworthy appraiser. If you find one that you like working with, go back and get your item(s) reappraised every year to keep your policy up-to-date.
Q. How do I choose a jewelry insurance policy?
A. You’ve heard us say this about every type of insurance policy, and it’s just as true here: no two policies are exactly alike. So whether you’re insuring your engagement ring or Aunt Millie’s antique brooch collection, you want to make sure you’re getting the coverage that you need.
Before you purchase any jewelry policy, ask each potential insurer questions such as:
- If I lose my ring, how will I be required to prove that the item is lost?
- Am I covered for accidental loss? Are there any circumstances that aren’t covered?
- Am I covered for damage or just loss/theft?
- How will I be compensated for a loss (replacement or cash payout)?
- Will I receive actual cash value or replacement value?
- What if I cannot find an appropriate replacement?
- Will I need to visit an approved jeweler for repairs or replacements?
Price is only one of the many factors that go into choosing an insurance policy. Having the right level of coverage more than makes up for a cheap, yet shoddy policy.
Q. Is my jewelry covered away from home if it is on my homeowner’s policy?
A. The short answer is “yes,” but, as with every policy, it varies.
If you purchased a Personal Article Floater to your home insurance, it may subject to a diminished amount of coverage, your regular policy deductible, and the policy territory, which is often restricted to the United States and limited other locales. However, these policies are often deductible-free and include worldwide coverage for theft and mysterious disappearance.
If you travel a lot outside of the country (and can’t bear to leave your engagement ring behind), make sure you purchase a policy that will cover you outside the U.S.
Q. What is the limit on jewelry coverage on my policy?
A. You must refer to your policy declarations for coverage details like this. Under your typical homeowner’s policy, jewelry limits are often set at $1,000 per piece and $2,000 per loss. You can often buy the $2,000 per loss sublimit up to $5,000 per loss for an additional premium.
Jewelry insurance for your engagement ring, heirlooms, and favorite pieces doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, once you are properly insured, you may lose any hesitation you once had about wearing those expensive pieces in public.
Once you get your jewelry appraised, decide what level of coverage you need and contact your local independent insurance agent to see what policies are available to you. Now you can rest at ease knowing that your engagement ring, Christmas gifts, and heirlooms are well protected!
(Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally written in July 2014 and has been updated to provide more comprehensive and thorough information.)