by Paula Rhoderick, Personal Lines Department Manager
Few things score as many points with your loved one as a gift of jewelry on Valentine’s Day. Classic gifts such as hearts, rubies and diamonds are gifts that can be cherished throughout the year. But did you know your Homeowners, Condo or Renters Insurance may not completely cover your gift? Ask yourself, if your favorite piece of jewelry was lost, stolen or damaged, how would you feel?
- Devastated because of the sentimental value?
- Frustrated that you could not afford to repair or replace it?
- Hesitant to buy jewelry in the future?
If any of the above describe you, jewelry insurance can help bring you piece of mind and may be a smart decision.
Jewelry losses are one of the most common personal property insurance claims reported each year. If the right policy is not in place, there may not be coverage. Standard policies have limitations for items such as jewelry, specifically for theft. In addition, standard policies only cover jewelry for losses specifically stated in your policy such as fire, lightning and windstorm. What happens if the item is lost or damaged? What happens if you lose a stone out of your setting, or your toddler flushes your piece down the toilet? It is important to safeguard and insure your valuables.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure you have the proper jewelry coverage:
- Contact your agent to determine what your current policy covers and doesn’t cover. Ask for coverage options that include replacing your item(s) if it is lost or stolen. Here are five important questions to ask:
- What kind of loss is covered?
- Do my jewelry items need to be listed individually?
- How will I be compensated if my jewelry is lost?
- Does the policy cover repair or partial loss?
- What documentation is needed to make a claim?
- Keep the receipt or appraisal from the jewelry purchase and provide a copy to your insurance agent to be kept as part of your insurance file. This helps speed up the claims process if you have a loss. In addition, it is a good idea to have your item(s) reappraised every three to five years to ensure you have adequate coverage.
- Take photos of your jewelry. Keep a copy for yourself and send a copy to your insurance agent with the receipt or appraisal.
Your agent will likely recommend adding additional jewelry coverage to your current Homeowners, Condo or Renters Policy. In some cases, a separate policy may be required. Either way, the additional jewelry coverage or policy will provide broadened, world-wide coverage for your jewelry. In addition, the typical jewelry coverage does not require a deductible to be paid in the event of a loss. This jewelry coverage protects against scenarios like mysterious disappearance or unexplained loss, theft, and in some cases damage, which are likely not covered by your Homeowners, Condo or Renters Policy or by warranties. Normal wear and tear is not covered.
How much will it cost to insure my jewelry? Rates vary depending on where you live. However, for most people, jewelry coverage costs 1-2% of the value of the item. For example, a ring valued at $2,500, would typically cost $25.00 per year to insure.
Your decision to insure your jewelry ultimately comes down to your specific needs and how valuable the jewelry is to you. Protecting both the financial and emotional value of your jewelry can provide peace of mind in case of loss or damage. Don’t let your cherished jewelry go unprotected. Contact your agent today.