Whether you’ve just received your first piece of fine jewelry or you’ve built an enviable collection, when you own valuable jewelry, it is important to safeguard your treasures. Much like you have insurance for your car or home, you can — and should — buy insurance to protect your valuable rings, necklaces and earrings.
If your jewelry is lost or stolen, insurance can help by providing cash based on the value of your item. Of course, many precious baubles have sentimental value and might be irreplaceable. Still, accidents happen and, if you have proper insurance, you can at least recoup some monetary value. However, if you don’t have any insurance coverage for jewelry, or you don’t have the right type of insurance, you may not get a penny.
So how can you obtain jewelry insurance? Here are some tips to help you determine if you need coverage and the steps you need to take.
Jewelry insurance specifically provides replacement value for fine jewelry. While some homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies may include jewelry under covered items, there is usually a limit on the dollar amount. Many pieces of jewelry exceed that value, leaving you with a gap in coverage. Some insurance providers offer an add-on to your insurance, called a rider or floater, where you can break out individual items of value and secure coverage for that item. If adding a rider isn’t an option or you don’t have home insurance, you can also buy standalone jewelry coverage for specific items.
Whether you’ve received a single valuable item, such as an engagement ring or diamond stud earrings, or you have a jewelry box full of expensive items, it is a good idea to consider jewelry coverage. Before you shop for a policy, you should take stock of your collection. Collect and organize your original receipts. Next, have a jeweler assess the value of your item, called an appraisal, and provide you with documentation. Also, take pictures of your items, receipts and appraisals, and store them in a secure place, such as a thumb drive in a safe or a trusted friend’s home, or upload them to the cloud.
To assess your coverage options, you can start by talking to your regular insurance agent or broker. You can also look for quotes online or ask friends or family for a recommendation. Once you identify an insurance company, be sure to inquire how much replacement value you’ll be entitled to and how much of a deductible you’ll have to pay. Also be sure to ask what type of events the policy covers and be specific, such as theft from a hotel room or dropping jewelry in the toilet.
You’ll want to provide your insurer with a full list of your items, also called a schedule, along with copies of the appraisals and receipts. (Be sure to keep your copies in a safe place).
Generally, jewelry insurance will cost is $1 to $2 for every $100 of value, paid annually. Before you purchase jewelry coverage, be sure to calculate the cost compared to the value of your jewelry. Some items may not be expensive enough to buy a rider or separate insurance.
Once you’ve purchased your insurance policy, you still have some work to do. Make sure that you keep your insurance documents in a safe place that is easily accessible. In case you need assistance quickly, store the insurance company or representative’s name and number in your mobile phone.
If you’re lucky enough to acquire new fine jewelry items, be sure to take all the previous steps again (keep receipts, appraisals and photos) and add them to your policy. Another thing to keep in mind is that the value of jewelry, including gemstones, diamonds and metals, can fluctuate over time, so it is a good idea to have your appraisals updated every few years. And don’t forget to pay your insurance premiums so that your coverage remains in place.
Just like you carefully polish and store your jewelry to keep it safe and sparkling, if you tend to your insurance, you’ll have both peace of mind and support if anything happens to your precious pieces. At Peter Franklin Jewelry, we can help you organize your documents and provide professional appraisals to make your insurance process as smooth as possible. Visit our three Northeast Indiana locations in Angola, New Haven and Fort Wayne and ask our customer experience professionals for assistance.