Whether it’s a gift from someone special or a gift to yourself, a new piece of jewelry can bring some sparkle to your life.
However, many people who find themselves victimized by burglars—or worse, a fire or some other disaster—also find out too late that they didn’t have enough insurance to replace their jewelry.
Here’s why: Homeowners policies typically only cover valuable items such as jewelry and watches up to a specific amount. For example, if your limit is $5,000, but you have a $15,000 diamond ring, you’d be on the hook for an extra $10,000 in order to replace it. There might be other issues as well, such as whether your policy covers each individual piece of jewelry at a set amount, or provides coverage for your collection as a whole.
This all might sound complicated, but it’s really not—especially when you work with an independent agent who can explain your options and make sure you get the right coverage. No matter how you buy your insurance, though, below are a few things you’ll want to consider.
- Do you need more coverage? Look at your policy language, or ask your agent to explain your coverage. Do you have one or two expensive pieces, or a number of smaller items that when added together exceed your limits? You probably need to purchase additional protection.
- What kind of coverage should you get? This depends on your lifestyle. You may want to consider whether items are covered no matter where they are (such as if you travel internationally). You’ll also want to ask about actual cash value versus replacement value, and if you would be required to actually replace the jewelry in the event of a loss or if you could just keep the cash payment.
- Do you need an appraisal? In some instances, an insurance company will require you to get a piece appraised to determine its value.
- Do you have items with mainly sentimental value, or ones that are irreplaceable? If so, you might not need to purchase any additional insurance at all. But we recommend talking to your agent before making that decision.
- Do you have the ability to increase your deductible? Usually, a higher deductible means a lower premium—so that’s an option to potentially offset part or all of the cost of increased coverage for your jewelry.
- Do you have pictures? This doesn’t necessarily have to do with your insurance, but jewelers often are able to recreate lost or stolen pieces with the help of a photo.
Whatever you choose to do, remember that you play an important role in keeping your jewelry protected, too: Be sure to store it securely, whether in a safe at home or a safe-deposit box at a different location. After all, having the right coverage is great—but it’s even better when those special pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.
Top image by Flickr user Kai used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.