The 4 C’s of diamonds are a way of evaluating a diamond’s value. What many forget in the excitement of choosing fine jewelry is the unofficial 5th C- “Coverage.” It only makes sense to protect your investments by insuring them. Let’s look at the details of insuring your fine jewelry and some of the most frequently asked questions about jewelry insurance. Remember that all insurance policies are different. We are discussing general practices and you must check with your insurance policy to know exactly how your fine jewelry is covered.
Should I Add my Fine Jewelry to my Homeowners Insurance?
The short answer to this question is yes but there may be instances where you want more coverage than your homeowners insurance offers.
Insuring your fine jewelry through your homeowner’s insurance means that it is covered under your personal property coverage. If your standard personal property insurance covers up to $300,000 and you lose everything in a fire, this may be enough to cover your jewelry, furniture, and other personal property but then it may not. If your diamond engagement ring is valued at $10,000 and/or you have other fine jewelry valued at even more, the dollars can add up quickly. You may find that you needed more coverage to replace all your items after the fact.
If your home has a break-in and your jewelry is stolen, most standard homeowners policies limit theft coverage to around $1,500.00 – not nearly enough to cover your fine jewelry. This limit is set very low because jewelry is so easy to steal. You must also take your deductible into consideration when making a theft claim. Some policies do give discounts for home alarm systems or heavy safes bolted to the ground and hidden.
If you desire more coverage for your fine jewelry, you could up the dollar amount of your personal property coverage but this may not be the most economical way. There are 2 ways to insure your jewelry without increasing your policy limits (and payments) that may be more economical.
Should I add a Special Insurance Floater for my Fine Jewelry?
Adding an insurance floater for your fine jewelry, known as a “personal articles floater”, will cover your jewelry outside of your personal property insurance. It can cover the jewelry that exceeds your personal property coverage. This requires itemizing the jewelry such as “engagement ring” or “emerald pendant necklace.” There are certain exclusions to an insurance floater so be sure to read the fine print. You will pay a separate fee for an insurance floater on top of your homeowner’s insurance.
Some of the advantages of insurance floaters for fine jewelry are that they cover your jewelry no matter where you are and also accidental damage such as losing a wedding ring down the drain!
Should I Use Specialized Jewelry Insurance?
Another option for insuring your fine jewelry is to purchase special insurance. This is usually done through an insurance company dedicated to jewelry only. Advantages include coverage of damage to jewelry such as chips or breaks, no increase in your homeowners premium if you file a claim, and coverage of a wider variety of potential problems such as mysterious disappearances, accidental loss, and theft as well as coverage if you lost part of a set of fine jewelry. There is also usually no deductible when using your special jewelry insurance.
What about Heirloom, Antique, or Sentimental Jewelry?
Heirloom, antique, or sentimental jewelry is a little trickier. How can you put a price value on feelings about a certain item or an item that cannot be easily created today? In such cases, insurance policies usually only cover what the jewelry is worth today. In these situations, an appraisal helps to determine the value of the jewelry. More on appraisals below. If you happen to lose your grandmother’s engagement ring, the hurt will still be there but insurance will help you find a comparable replacement or the actual cash value of the ring.
What is a Jewelry Appraisal and When do I Need One?
A jewelry appraisal is a report of the details of an item of jewelry. It describes the jewelry, gives an assessment of its state, and the value of the jewelry. An appraisal is not always needed but in cases where you are purchasing an insurance floater, insurance through a jewelry insurer, or if the jewelry has high value, appraisals are recommended to make sure you receive appropriate compensation if there is a loss.
Some insurance companies require appraisals to be done by a specific company. Be sure to check with them before having appraisals done.
How Much Does Insuring Your Fine Jewelry Cost?
If you choose to insure your fine jewelry under your homeowners or renters insurance then the cost is covered under your insurance premium. If you choose to add a jewelry insurance floater to your homeowner’s insurance, the cost is usually 1-2 % of the jewelry’s value per year. If you purchase insurance from a jewelry insurer, the cost is usually about the same 1-2% of the value but you have increased coverage for different types of losses.
Isbell Jewelers has been Birmingham’s trusted jeweler for over 40 years! We have heard many heartbreaking stories of jewelry loss and helped to repair or replace that jewelry. Making sure your fine jewelry investments are covered by insurance is a wise move but sadly many forget to add their jewelry or realize the coverage is not enough when unfortunate events occur. Audit your jewelry collection and make sure all valuables are insured. Contact your insurance to check rates and options for coverage.