If you’re a homeowner, you most likely already know about homeowner’s insurance. Keeping your home covered is a wise choice. It protects your greatest asset – likely your most expensive one. Additionally, lenders almost always require coverage.
Homeowners insurance covers the house itself (this is the “dwelling” part of your coverage). It also covers possessions such as furniture, clothing, and books (this is the “personal property” part of your coverage).
People often view jewelry as their personal property. This leads them to ask, “Is jewelry insurance worth it?” It’s a perfectly relatable question. Let’s go over a few reasons that jewelry insurance would make sense to add as additional coverage.
How Much Personal Property Is Covered by Home Insurance?
First, let’s tackle the straightforward question: Does homeowners insurance cover jewelry? As is so often the case with individual insurance policies, the answer is that it depends.
Jewelry is part of your personal property, but your homeowner’s insurance likely has coverage limits that could potentially affect a claim. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will place a limit on jewelry losses if something happens to it in a covered event. Depending on the amount and type of jewelry, those limits might not come anywhere near replacing what was lost or stolen.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy could cover lost, stolen, or damaged jewelry. It’s important to check your policy and understand its coverage limits. For many homeowners, it is not likely enough to cover a loss.
The standard jewelry loss limit would apply to everything lost, stolen, or damaged in a covered event.
A break-in at your home can lead to the theft of valuable items. These could include an engagement ring, earrings, and heirlooms you have inherited. Unfortunately, your insurance will only reimburse you up to the limit established in your homeowner’s policy. This is regardless of the actual value of the jewelry.
Here’s another thing you should know: Basic homeowner’s insurance will extend only to a named peril. This means that your jewelry may be protected up to the coverage limit if it’s lost in a fire. However, it is not protected if it is accidentally damaged or lost.
You shouldn’t assume that your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover jewelry. In fact, some policies specifically exclude jewelry from coverage.
Another often overlooked issue is what happens after you sell your home or move away from your rented apartment. If you no longer have that insurance policy, the jewelry listed on that policy will no longer be covered. A stand alone jewelry policy will offer protection that isn’t impacted by your homeowners policy.
Why Should I Insure My Jewelry?
One of the worst surprises homeowners get is learning that their homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover jewelry losses. It’s an understandable assumption: Shouldn’t all your “stuff” be covered by your general homeowner’s policy?
Jewelry is small and valuable, which makes it a target for stealing. It’s also really easy to lose a piece, whether it’s a misplaced earring or a stone falling out of its setting. You’re likely wearing pieces frequently, which subjects your jewelry to damage and wear and tear. These twin risks—easy to steal and easy to lose—mean that your jewelry is likely more at risk from loss than most items in your home.
What Kind of Insurance Policies Are Available for Jewelry?
To truly protect your valuables, there are two different avenues you might take. You can add a coverage rider to your homeowner’s policy, or you can get separate jewelry insurance.
There are a number of features and benefits to consider, depending on your situation, the value of the pieces you are insuring, and the type of coverage that will bring you peace of mind.
Adding a Jewelry Insurance Rider
One way to ensure your jewelry is protected is to add what is known as a rider to your insurance coverage. A rider is coverage that kicks in when the limits set by your basic coverage are either met or exceeded. This type of additional coverage can also be called a “personal article floater” or “valuable personal property rider.”
Depending on the requirements set by your insurer, you may need to make an itemized list of individual pieces you want the rider to cover. This will include a short description of each piece of jewelry. Some companies may require appraisals for pieces valued above a set dollar amount.
Riders may offer additional protections that aren’t available under your standard homeowner’s policy, such as coverage for damage or loss.
This means that your jewelry may be covered up to the coverage limit if it is lost in a fire. However, it will not be covered if it is accidentally damaged or lost.
Accidentally hitting your hand on something may cause one of the prongs of your diamond to come loose. You should have this repaired as soon as possible to avoid losing the stone. This damage may be covered by your insurance rider. And, if you didn’t notice the setting was loose and you do lose your diamond, you will be protected.
Read your rider carefully. It may require evidence, such as a purchase receipt or other proof of ownership, if you need to make a claim. Make sure you have this information ready before submitting a claim.
It may be beneficial to get family heirlooms appraised, even though the insurer may not require it. This could help ensure that they are adequately valued. This way, you have a list of the pieces you own ready if you ever need to make a claim.
An insurance rider might have a deductible you’ll need to meet before your loss is covered, so make sure you ask about this. Additionally, making a claim on your rider may also count as a claim on your homeowners insurance policy. As always, it’s important to understand which exclusions from the underlying homeowner’s policy apply.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies exclude natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. These same exclusions will likely apply to the policy rider too. If a flood severely damages your home and your jewelry is lost too, you won’t be eligible to file a claim.
One benefit to purchasing a rider to your homeowners policy is that many insurers offer discounts when you have more than one policy through them, so you could save some money on your total premium.*
Purchasing Separate Jewelry Coverage
Purchasing a separate policy to cover your jewelry is another option that offers additional benefits and protection. This type of standalone policy is usually offered by insurers that specialize in covering jewelry.
One big advantage to this type of coverage is that making a claim won’t be reflected on your homeowner’s insurance policy—which can impact your rates.
This distinction may not seem important. However, it is easy to lose jewelry, so making a claim is not unrealistic. It can be comforting to have jewelry insurance for valuable and often-worn pieces. This way, you can make a claim without worrying about your homeowners premiums increasing.
Another benefit to standalone policies is that they frequently will cover events that are excluded on homeowner’s policies, and they can even offer more protection than riders. For example, losing jewelry in a flood or earthquake is usually excluded under a standard homeowner’s policy. However, this loss may be covered through stand-alone jewelry insurance.
Damage and “mysterious disappearance” are only sometimes covered by riders, while they are usually covered by standalone policies. Additionally, most separate jewelry insurance policies either have no deductible or offer zero deductible as an option.
If you have a large collection of valuable jewelry, another advantage of a standalone policy is that there’s no set coverage limit. Give the jewelry insurance policy provider documentation of the pieces you own. This could be an appraisal or purchase receipts. Your coverage will be tailored to the value of your jewelry.
How Can I Get a Quote for Jewelry Insurance Today?
It might surprise you to learn that jewelry insurance can be very affordable. A good estimate of what it might cost is about 1 to 2% of the value of your jewelry, annually. That means a $5,000 engagement ring could potentially cost as little as $50 to $100 per year to insure.
Protecting yourself against financial loss is important. If you own valuable or sentimental pieces, especially if you wear them often, make sure you are covered. Get a free jewelry insurance quote today and get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your valuables are protected.
* Savings, if any, vary based on a consumer’s profile and other factors. Contact your insurance agent for more information. Restrictions apply.
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