Is your jewelry covered by your homeowners insurance policy?
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Jewelry insurance provides coverage for valuable pieces of jewelry such as wedding rings, precious gemstones, and other types of jewelry. Every home insurance policy includes some coverage for jewelry. However, unlike other types of personal property covered by your policy, jewelry and other rare valuables — such as fine art, firearms, and expensive music equipment — are subject to more stringent coverage limits. This limit is usually capped at $1,500 for jewelry.
As jewelry is often more expensive than other personal property, special considerations may be in order. Three options generally exist for insuring jewelry:
Read on to find out which insurance option is best for your high-value jewelry.
Jewelry coverage is a standard part of most homeowners insurance policies. However, this coverage is typically limited to just $1,500 for all of the jewelry items you own and usually only applies when these items are stolen. You aren’t likely to have coverage if an item is lost or damaged. As such, special coverage must sometimes be added. Have a look at some of the other options available below.
Most home insurance companies allow you to add a scheduled endorsement — sometimes called a floater — which allows you to increase the coverage limits of specific items. Scheduled endorsements are available for a wide array of different high-value items and are a popular choice for jewelry. Along with raising limits, these endorsements can offer coverage in scenarios that fall outside of a standard homeowners plan, which may only cover valuables in instances of theft.
Along with options offered by home insurance companies, there are also stand-alone policies available. A dedicated jewelry insurance policy can be purchased from a number of providers that specialize in jewelry coverage. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group or Gemsafe are two companies that offer insurance for high-value jewelry.
Some major insurers partner with such companies to provide jewelry coverage. GEICO, for example, partners with Jewelers Mutual to provide coverage for such items in situations that may not be covered by a standard homeowners policy. Examples of these situations include mysterious disappearance or damage.
Your specific coverage will depend on your policy type. For instance, standard home insurance policies will likely only cover theft. Stand-alone policies, on the other hand, can be more comprehensive, though it always pays to read the fine print so that you are not left disappointed. In general, a scheduled floater or stand-alone policy would provide coverage in the following situations:
Consult your insurer to see if your policy provides worldwide coverage for jewelry items while traveling or if they cover jewelry that you received as a gift. You should also ask about the ability to choose your own jeweler for repairs.
Renters insurance covers jewelry in much the same way as a homeowners policy. Jewelry items must be itemized with the replacement cost listed. These items may need to be appraised.
While jewelry insurance covers many issues that could affect your jewelry, there are some situations in which it will not provide coverage. As with most types of insurance, coverage is restricted in the following situations:
Jewelry warranties are not the same as insurance. A warranty will only cover manufacturer defects and should not be seen as a viable alternative to jewelry insurance.
While every insurer may have a different process for insuring jewelry, you will likely be required to have the value of your items determined by an appraiser before you can file a claim. Also, if filing a claim, it’s likely that your homeowners deductible will apply if your coverage is through your standard policy. However, scheduled floaters and stand-alone policies will not likely be subject to a deductible.
Furthermore, it should be noted that jewelry insurance claims made on a stand-alone policy will not affect your homeowners insurance rates, which could be a determining factor in which type of coverage you choose.
The cost of coverage for jewelry insurance depends on a variety of factors. Without a special endorsement or stand-alone plan, $1,500 of coverage is included in your homeowners or rental insurance premium. For scheduled items, the value of the jewelry itself will be the primary factor, as more expensive pieces will likely require a higher additional insurance premium.
According to GEICO, which partners with a specialized jewelry insurer, jewelry insurance via a stand-alone policy typically runs about 1% to 2% of the total value of each insured item annually. Therefore, a $7,500 engagement ring could be insured for somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 per year.
Jewelry, while often highly valuable, can also be representative of some of the most important people and moments in our lives. Weddings, engagements, and a number of other occasions are often celebrated with jewelry. Heirlooms passed down from generation to generation can extend familial bonds and can provide a deep connection to the past. While such jewelry items are hard to put a price tag on, they still need to be taken care of in case of damage or loss.
Getting the right insurance coverage for your valuables is a great way to increase your peace of mind. Some premier carriers, such as Chubb, may offer higher limits for jewelry or other high-value items as a standard part of their policy. Regardless of which carrier you chose, make sure to check the policy terms when purchasing coverage, as every carrier may approach scheduled items differently.
If you are concerned about the costs of added coverage or higher limits, it may be time to shop for a new homeowners policy. You can get insurance quotes from The Zebra to help you decide on the homeowners insurance policy that is right for you and your needs.