Quick Tip: It’s easy and simple! So what are you waiting for?
It happens to all of us and as jewelers we hear all of the stories. You get home from a long day at work and all you want to do is get comfortable. So, without evening realizing it, you start taking off your jewelry in various places throughout the house. Before you know it, one of your earrings has been lost to the abyss of your carpet. Or maybe you are doing your dishes and you slip your wedding ring off so that you don’t get all of the dishwater on it. Then, with the slightest slip, down it goes, tumbling through your pipes as the garbage disposal gobbles it up. Maybe you are running late for an appointment and you’re rushing to get out of your car to make it on time. All of a sudden, you catch your ring in the car door, your diamond goes flying and your ring is mangled. The list goes on and on. Some are horror stories and some are just an everyday occurrence. Each of these events leads to a need for replacement or extensive repair to your most precious jewelry. Luckily, by properly scheduling and maintaining insurance on your jewelry, all of this can be fixed with minimal cost to you. Insuring your jewelry can be easy and fairly painless. Many people don’t know or realize that jewelry insurance is even an option. If you are feeling lost or overwhelmed, we are here to help, as promised. Here are the basics of jewelry insurance that everyone needs to know before choosing a policy.
Types of Coverage
You have two options when choosing to insure your jewelry. The coverage you choose should fir your needs and your budget best. Your first option is to use a company that specialize in jewelry insurance. We recommend Jeweler’s Mutual Insurance. They are owned by jewelers, will work exclusively through the jeweler of your choice, and have phenomenal coverage. You can check out the extent of their coverage here. Your second option is to get an extension (aka “rider”) for your renters’ or homeowners’ insurance. Renters’ and homeowners’ policies will cover the things in your house, but only up to a certain point. High value and/or special items like jewelry, art, and electronics are guaranteed through personal property coverage of specifically scheduled items.
Types of Jewelry You Can Insure
We typically recommend that you insure anything with a retail value of $500 or greater. Although irreplaceable, we also recommend insuring any sentimental jewelry no matter what the value. The most common types of jewelry insured are engagement rings and wedding bands. However, most jewelry insurance policies also cover the following:
- Smart Jewelry
Coverage to Look For
Most insurance policies will cover the basics, such as theft and damage. However, there are many more things that can happen to your jewelry. Therefore, there are many more things to look for in coverage. We recommend finding a policy that covers everything (hint: Jeweler’s Mutual does!). However, it is your choice of what you want covered.
- Loss: You know where or when you lost it, but you can’t find it. Know what is needed to file a claim in the case of loss, such as second-hand reports of the incident.
- Theft: Break-ins happen, purses get stolen, people can be dishonest. Theft is unfortunately a regular occurrence. Most likely, a detailed police report will be needed to file a claim for theft. Check with your agent to know what to do in the case of stolen jewelry.
- Mysterious Disappearance: Like loss, mysterious disappearance covers missing jewelry. However, in the case of mysterious disappearance, you aren’t sure where or when you lost the item.
- Damage: Direct damage, like knocking a stone out of your ring, breaking your necklace or chipping your diamond (Yes, that can happen!), is one of the most common reasons for making a claim on jewelry insurance.
- Preventative Repair: New to the jewelry insurance scene, preventative repair covers just that- preventative work on your jewelry so that you don’t lose any stones, break a chain, or lose the piece all together. Just like getting your teeth cleaned or rotating your tire, jewelry needs to be checked periodically to make sure it is in prime condition.
How to Get Covered
In order to get your jewelry insured, all insurance companies require an appraisal from a certified jeweler or gemologist. (We can appraise your jewelry, by the way!) Companies that specialize in jewelry insurance will typically not ask for anything other than an official appraisal. You can ask to have your jewelry appraised at the time of purchase if it is new. We offer free appraisals on all items bought from our store. If you have an item that is not brand new, but needs to be appraised, you can also get it appraised for insurance just as you would a new item. Some renters’ and homeowners’ policies will also require a receipt of purchase and/or an image of the item alongside the appraisal.
- Cost and Deductible: It never hurts to compare quotes from different insurance companies. Keep in mind that the average cost to insure jewelry is between $1 and $2 per $100 of value. Higher value items will cost more to insure as replacement is more costly. Also, crime rates in your city/zip code can cause the cost to insure your jewelry to go up or down. Look at deductible options and how they will effect your annual premium. Most companies offer a no deductible options as well as options for a $50 or $100 deductible. The larger the deductible, the lower your annual premium. In most instances, a the no deductible option is well worth the higher premium. This option typically pas for itself in your first claim.
- Replacement Process: Ask your agent what their replacement process is for lost or stolen items as well as the repair of damaged jewelry. Consider asking your agent the following:
- What is your method of payment for replacement or repair? Do you write a personal check to me or does the jeweler invoice the insurance company?
- Who can repair or replace my jewelry when a claim is filed? Do I have to use a specific, pre-approved jeweler or can I use the jeweler of my choice?
- Will you all me to replace my items with something of comparable quality and value?
- Will you cover the full cost of my jewelry or only a fraction of it if an item is lost or stolen or a stone falls out or is damaged?
- Travel Coverage: Make sure that you are covered when you are travelling not only domestically but internationally. You also want to make sure that your coverage does not change when you are on international soil.
- Coverage of New Items: Most specialty jewelry insurance companies will cover your recently purchased items for a period of time until you can submit a new appraisal to get the item insured. If you insure your jewelry through your renters’ or homeowners’ policy, ask your agent if they offer such coverage.
- Circumstances not Covered: It is always safe to double check with your agent if there are any extenuating circumstances that would not be covered under your policy. You never know, crazy things can happen to our most precious of pieces.
What to remember, if anything at all:
Read the fine print! The best insurance policy will cover each and every situation that could possibly happen to your beautiful baubles.