Jewelry insurance guide
Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com
Protecting your jewelry by having insurance is a smart move. But if your jewelry collection is worth a significant amount, it may not be covered by a standard renters or homeowners insurance policy. Is jewelry insurance worth it? Ultimately it depends on the value of your jewelry. The best jewelry insurance financially protects you against the loss of your most valuable items.
Insurance and financial expert Laura Adams explains,
“Anytime you decide to buy an expensive piece of jewelry or watch, make sure you have a plan to insure it. If you already have home or renters insurance, check your policy or ask your insurer for the jewelry limit to know if you need additional coverage.” If you need additional coverage, here’s everything you need to know about jewelry insurance.
What is jewelry insurance?
Jewelry insurance covers you against losses if your jewelry is lost, stolen or damaged. You may be able to schedule your jewelry on your existing home insurance policy if you only have a few heirlooms, such as a wedding ring or a couple of watches. Doing so lists the jewelry items on your policy and won’t require you to pay a separate deductible if you need to file a claim.
If the value or number of jewelry items is higher than what policy limits include, you can add a jewelry rider to your existing insurance or purchase a standalone policy. Adams recommends,
“Another option for insuring any valuable item is a stand-alone policy separate from an existing home or renters policy. It’s a good option if you have many valuable items, or you don’t have homeowners or renters insurance.”
How does jewelry insurance work?
Jewelry insurance provides for the estimated worth of your items. Some things may be sentimentally priceless. Nevertheless, a dollar value has to be assigned to the jewelry. You may have to have some jewelry professionally appraised if it’s high-value or antique, to confirm it’s worth what you’re insuring them for.
In the event you have purchased a jewelry rider for a specified amount of coverage, you can file a police report and a claim in the event something is stolen. The insurance company then investigates the claim and issues you a check, or notifies you of where to pick up a replacement piece.
Is jewelry insurance included in your homeowners insurance?
Technically, since jewelry is a personal belonging, it may be covered up to a certain amount under your homeowners insurance. However, it would be advisable to schedule them to your policy so they’re listed as part of your belongings.
“One option is to “schedule” your jewelry on an existing home or renters policy, which adds more detail, doesn’t require a deductible, and covers you for all types of losses. For instance, if you accidentally lose a wedding ring, you’re covered up to your limit.”
“Jewelry coverage on a standard home or renters policy (that you haven’t scheduled) may only pay for specific events, such as loss from a natural disaster or theft, and is subject to a deductible,” says Adams.
If your jewelry collection is worth more than a few hundred dollars though, you may want to buy additional jewelry insurance to ensure the pieces can be replaced or compensated in full value. Consider the following points:
Homeowners or renters insurance typically has a limit amount for personal property such as furniture, electronics, clothes, and more. If your jewelry collection is worth a significant amount of money, adding the jewelry’s value to your personal property may exceed your coverage limit. In such cases, you’d need to add a jewelry rider or buy standalone jewelry insurance.
There are two ways to receive a payout — cash value or replacement cost. If you opt for cash value, the insurance company will pay you the value of your jewelry, minus depreciation. Replacement cost is the way to go, particularly for valuable jewelry. If lost or stolen, you’ll receive a check for the cost of replacing your lost goods with new ones.
Determination of value
For antique, collectible or higher-value jewelry, an appraisal will be required to insure the items. Appraisals are an additional expense, but guarantee you’ll receive the cost of the jewelry if you file a claim.
Mysterious disappearance coverage
There are times when a prized piece of jewelry just disappears. It’s hard to know if it was misplaced, lost or stolen. Known as mysterious disappearance, including it in your jewelry insurance covers your items if they disappear without explanation.
The term floater is used for jewelry because they tend to be small and easily movable. A floater policy is basically jewelry insurance. Floaters will cover losses beyond what your homeowners insurance provides, such as fire or theft. For example, misplacing your watch while traveling or dropping your engagement ring down the bathroom sink will be covered in a floater policy.
Who needs jewelry insurance?
Anyone who has jewelry and watches of value should consider insuring them. Depending on the number of pieces and the value of the goods, you may be able to include them in your existing homeowners or renters insurance policy. Otherwise, you’ll want to add a jewelry rider or buy a standalone policy for jewelry worth a high dollar amount.
Jewelry gifts are another instance in which insurance should be considered. As Laura suggests,
“If you buy expensive jewelry to give as a gift, you should have it insured while it’s in your possession. But once you give a gift, the recipient owns it and should protect it with insurance. If you’re married or live together and have the same home or renters insurance policy, you don’t have to take any extra steps.”
Where to buy jewelry insurance
Your best bet is to add a floater or jewelry rider to your existing home or renters insurance policy. If your home or apartment isn’t insured, you’ll need to purchase standalone jewelry insurance.
Jewelry insurance companies
Jewelry insurance companies are different from simply adding jewelry insurance coverage to your homeowners or renters insurance. Dedicated jewelry insurance may be more expensive, but may be better suited for insuring your valuables. It’s best to compare quotes from several jewelry insurance providers.
Agreed value coverage
|Geico||Mysterious disappearance coverage|
|Gemshield||Appraisal not needed for new items purchased with receipt provided|
No deductible option
|Jewelers Mutual||No deductible option|
|Lavalier||All-risk coverage (damage, disappearance, loss and theft)|
Coverage up to $50,000
|Zillion||All-risk coverage (damage, disappearance, loss and theft)|
No deductible option
Jewelry insurance coverage options
When jewelry insurance is an add-on coverage, you may have additional options, depending on whether you’re adding on to a homeowners or renters policy. Rental and home insurance policies typically include $50,000 in personal property.
If your jewelry pushes your personal property amount beyond the coverage limit, you can add a floater or rider to schedule the jewelry items separately. Because it’s more likely that you’ll lose a jewelry item such as a ring or earrings, you may be able to add a no-deductible option to your jewelry floater to save you some money if something is lost or missing.
Jewelry insurance is also known as valuable articles coverage, personal articles floater policy, or valuable items endorsement. Any of the three can be added to your existing homeowners policy or renters insurance.
A jewelry warranty may be similar to jewelry insurance, but has its differences. Jewelry insurance reimburses you if your covered jewels are lost, stolen, go missing or become damaged. Jewelry insurance doesn’t cover your items if they’re defective or from wear and tear.
A jewelry warranty protects your valuables from defects. You may also protect the items from damage or loss, typically by paying an additional fee. A jewelry warranty may require you to perform regular maintenance with the jewelry company for the warranty to remain valid.
|Home insurance||Renters insurance||Jewelry-only insurance||Jewelry warranty|
|Loss reimbursement||Not usually covered||Not usually covered||Covered||Not covered|
|Damage||Limited circumstances||Limited circumstances||Covered up to policy limits||Limited circumstances|
|Gift coverage||Covered for same address only||Covered for same address only||Covered; documentation may be required||Covered|
|Premium impact||Possible premium increase||Possible premium increase||Generally no increase or impact||No impact|
Average cost of jewelry insurance
Jewelry insurance can vary in cost depending on the amount of coverage, deductible and more. In general, expect to pay 1% to 2% of the value of the piece per year. When you factor the cost of jewelry insurance as a percentage, the cost is directly affected by the value of the jewelry.
For example, insuring a $50,000 engagement ring will cost you $500 per year. A $5,000 watch will cost $50 annually to insure. There are other costs to insuring jewelry, for example, if you need to appraise the valuables. Appraisers typically charge $50 to $150 per hour.
How to file a jewelry insurance claim
Filing a jewelry insurance claim is a fairly straightforward process. If your jewelry was stolen, you’ll need to file a police report first to submit the report with your claim. Once you’re ready, file a claim with your insurer, either online or by calling your provider.
Once the claim is filed and the investigation complete, you may have to pay a deductible. You’ll receive instructions on where to drop off your damaged items for repair, where to pick up a replacement item or when your reimbursement check will be issued.
- Jewelry items such as watches, engagement rings, diamonds and earrings need special consideration regarding insurance.
- If the items are valued in the thousands of dollars or more, you should consider adding a floater or rider to your existing renters or home insurance policy.
- If you only have a couple of valuable jewelry items that don’t push your personal property limits over, you could schedule them into your existing home insurance.
- Compare rates for a rider or stand alone jewelry insurance provider for the best rate.
- You may need to have antique or high-value jewelry appraised to insure them.
Don’t overlook the value of your jewelry when you’re insuring your home or rental. Depending on the items, your jewelry may need to be included in an add-on rider or standalone policy. Once you get your items appraised and your policy underwritten, document your jewelry by photographing it. Send a digital copy of your receipts, appraisals and photos to your insurance company and keep a copy for yourself, just in case you need to file a claim.