- On February 17, 2021
In this article, we’ll describe a couple options to protect your jewelry under your homeowners policy, discuss the appraisal process, and share some tips that may help you prevent and prepare for a loss.
- A standard homeowners policy only covers a sub-limited amount for jewelry (usually $1000).
- To get your jewelry covered for all-risks and for full replacement cost, consider scheduling a jewelry floater on your homeowners policy.
- Prevention and preparation is your best defense against jewelry loss. Store your jewelry in safe locations, document and appraise your jewelry often in case of loss, and use discretion when sharing information about your jewelry.
Let’s be honest. Jewelry can be expensive to buy and to replace. But jewelry’s worth often goes beyond its monetary value. An engagement ring, an anniversary gift, a family heirloom. These items are priceless and can be devastating to lose.
When a loss happens, it’s good to know that your jewelry is protected. In this article, we’ll describe a couple options to protect your jewelry under your homeowners policy, discuss the appraisal process, and share some tips that may help you prevent and prepare for a loss.
Is my jewelry covered by my standard homeowners insurance?
Jewelry is covered under your homeowners personal property insurance as contents. But in a standard policy, coverage limits for jewelry are typically low. Most commonly $1,000 is the limit.
Why is jewelry coverage so low under a standard homeowners policy? Every policy imposes sub-limits for certain categories of property, especially valuable or high-risk property. One of these categories is jewelry. Because of this, your homeowners policy will set limits on the max dollar amount they will cover for jewelry.
Also, keep in mind that your insurance may not cover all types of loss or damage on your jewelry. Jewelry lost to theft or destroyed in a fire is often covered by a standard policy, but jewelry that is simply lost or damaged may not be covered.
It’s important to speak with your insurance agent to learn about your insurance limits and exclusions. Because coverage for jewelry is so limited in a standard homeowners policy, you may also talk to your agent about how you may extend your coverage.
How can I extend coverage on my jewelry?
To ensure that you get the protection you need, your insurance agent can go over your options for extending your coverage on your jewelry. Here are two common options that you may consider.
Option one: Get blanket coverage for your jewelry.
With blanket coverage, you can increase your coverage limits on certain categories of your property insurance, including jewelry. While you may be able to increase your coverage limits with a “blanket,” your policy still may not cover you for all-perils coverage.
Option two: Schedule a jewelry floater.
When you schedule a jewelry floater on your homeowners policy, you list your valuable items individually on your policy, and they are covered to their full appraised value. This means that you can protect specific items, instead of just a general category.
Also, with a jewelry floater, your items will be covered for their full replacement value and for all-perils. So, if you own specific pieces of valuable jewelry, you may consider scheduling them on your homeowners policy. In short, you pretty much have your own policy for that specific item!
Appraising your Jewelry
When insuring your jewelry, your insurance provider will need to establish its value. If your jewelry was recently purchased, you may be able to establish its value with a store receipt or certificate. But as time passes and circumstances change, the insured valued must be reevaluated.
You can get your jewelry appraised from many different sources for varying prices: retailers, gemologists, independent appraisers. Above all else, it’s important that you get your appraisal from a source you can trust. Don’t be afraid to ask for a source’s credentials and experience. As well, you may consult a professional jewelry and appraisal association such as the ASA, who can help verify your source and educate you on appraising methods.
Tips to Protect Your Jewelry
Of course, no one expects or wants to file a claim for lost jewelry. Prevention and preparedness is always a good policy when it comes to protecting your valuables. Here are a few tips to help you keep your jewelry safe.
- Hide jewelry in unusual spots rather than an easily accessible jewelry box.
- Store jewelry that is rarely worn in a bank or saving institution’s Safety Deposit Box. (Note that such special storage often qualifies for an insurance premium discount).
- Store jewelry in a quality storage area such as a secure safe or vault in your home.
- Take photos of your jewelry from several angles and share copies with your insurance agent.
- Get new appraisals every two or three years, sending a copy to your insurer.
- Keep original receipts and all appraisals, especially if they demonstrate that the jewelry’s value is appreciating.
- Ask your jeweler whether they have access to a jewelry identification system that documents a jewel’s distinctive markings (much in the manner of fingerprinting).
Safety and Security
- Install in-home security system that includes cameras and a central alarm.
- Be mindful of where and when your jewelry is worn in order to avoid becoming a theft target.
- Use hotel storage when traveling to safekeep your jewelry.
- Do not publicly share information regarding your jewelry.
- Do not share information about vacations or extended time away from your residence where valuable jewelry is stored.
If you have valuable jewelry that means something to you, that’s sentimental, that you want to be able to replace if something happens to it, make sure you list it on your homeowners policy.
Have a question about insuring your valuables? Leave a comment below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.