How to Insure Your Jewelry

When purchasing any kind of insurance product, the first step is always an objective assessment of the property you want to insure. Realistically, then, before insuring your jewelry, you should consider:

A. What are your needs?

Take stock of how much jewelry you have and what kind it is. Do you have a lot, but mostly it is pretty and fun rather than expensive? Do you have only a little jewelry, but the pieces that you own are very fine? Or are you a serious collector with buckets of bling? In each case, it is possible for you to get insurance that will help you in case something happens to your jewelry, but you need to be very clear on what you’ve got and have a good idea of what it is worth. How can you know for sure what your jewelry is worth? Having receipts is good, and when you get them, find a safe place to file them. Forever, if need be. Also, taking photographs can help. But, of course, for the best estimate, get a professional appraisal.

No, appraisals are not always required by your insurance carrier, but they are best way to prove the value of your baubles. Let’s say you are unfortunate enough to have a robbery or a disaster such as a fire. If you have only costume jewelry, photographs can prove what you had so that you can replace it. But if diamonds are your best friends, you will be better off with an expert evaluation that is put down on paper and added to your insurance file

Sometimes jewelers offer a day of free appraisals to bring customers into the shops. In the main, however, an appraisal will cost you money. Fees may vary from one jeweler to another, so ask questions. Make sure you know beforehand exactly what you will get for your investment.

B. What kind of policy will best suit your needs?

Most homeowner or renter policies cover personal jewelry items up to a certain level of value. Your deductible will apply. Above that, simple replacement can range from $500 for renter to $1000 for homeowner coverage. If you are a person who only has costume jewelry, that much money might be adequate.

On the other hand, if you own any really fine pieces, such as your diamond wedding set and your grandmother’s antique broach, the limits on your homeowner or renter policy might not be enough. In that case, appraisal in hand, you can ask your agent to “schedule” your special pieces. That means (s)he adds a special clause called an endorsement to your policy. It will cover your items up to the value which your appraisal indicates. This can raise your insurance premiums a bit, but the cost increase will pay for itself if you ever lose the main diamond from your engagement ring or your grandma’s broach is stolen.

If you are a serious collector with buckets of bling, you know the best place for your jewelry is a safety deposit box. But what’s the fun in having the stuff if you don’t wear it. Right? No doubt you have added a safe to your home or apartment. (If not, certainly you should consider doing so.) You also may benefit, however, from having your entire collection insured by itself. Two companies that will do this are Jeweler’s Mutual Insurance and The Chubb Group.

C. Where can you get the best insurance coverage for the lowest premium?

Once you know the kind of coverage you need, your best bet is to contact various insurance agents, find out what their companies will do for you, and then compare costs. You can glean a great deal of information from the Internet. For example, Allstate has a very nice web page that deals with scheduling jewelry and other valuables. Of course, if you choose a company that insures only your jewelry, you will have to pay a premium in addition to your homeowner or renter policy. But if it gives you greater peace of mind, the expense will be worthwhile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nine + = 13