Unlike cars and homes, insuring jewelry is still somewhat of an unknown to the general public. Many see it as unnecessary, not cost effective, or they don’t even know that jewelry-specific insurance exists.
Recently, Ritani partnered with Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company – a 102 year old company specializing exclusively in jewelry insurance – to provide their Perfect Circle® jewelry insurance. With online fine jewelry purchases on the rise, we want to make our customers feel more secure. Because of the price tag on many fine jewelry items, buying them online can feel like a gamble.
Does my homeowner’s insurance cover my jewelry?
This is without a doubt the most common misconception about insuring jewelry. While many homeowner’s insurance policies do deal somewhat with jewelry, it is considered a “non-essential” household item. Non-essential household items tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to homeowner’s insurance.
Say you owned a gorgeous pair of sapphire earrings valued at $3,000, and these earrings were stolen in a burglary. Like it or not, jewelry is one of the most frequently stolen items in America, since it is expensive and easy to carry. Under most standard homeowner’s insurance policies, there is an incredibly low cap for the monetary value of your jewelry. If your homeowner’s insurance allowed you to be reimbursed at all, it would be for a fraction of the earrings’ actual value.
What exactly does jewelry insurance cover?
First, I should note that most companies will let you choose the features included in your coverage. This way you can have as much or as little of your jewelry insured as you want. A thorough plan will include coverage for theft, damage, accidental loss, and mysterious disappearance.
What exactly is a mysterious jewelry disappearance? A few situations can qualify. For example, lots of petty thefts aren’t noticed or reported until some time after they occur. At the same time, people with high value heirloom jewelry pieces don’t tend to wear them every day, but only for special occasions.
If you had an expensive, vintage diamond pendant, it is reasonable that you would only wear it once in a while. If you couldn’t find it in your jewelry box after you thought you put it in there a few months prior, you would have a feasible “mysterious disappearance” claim.
If the above describes a mysterious disappearance, what then counts as an “accidental loss”? As unfortunate as the situation is, I have a great anecdotal example. Some time ago, a friend of mine was driving and wearing a gorgeous black Tahitian pearl necklace when she was rear-ended. As her airbag deployed, the necklace broke and pearls scattered everywhere. There was no way to repair the necklace; rather, it would have to be replaced.
Can I buy a blanket policy for my entire collection, or do I have to insure individual items?
In terms of what jewelry to insure, I strongly recommend that customers insure their engagement rings separately. They are high value pieces that are worn every day, so it is more likely that something will happen to them.
Of course, you can also buy a blanket policy for all of your jewelry. The only requirement is having your pieces appraised so the jewelry insurance company knows the replacement value of your collection.
Do I have to buy extra traveler’s insurance to cover my jewelry when I’m abroad?
No need, if your plan is comprehensive. Just like extended coverage for your phone, jewelry insurance travels with you even if you are out of the country. A good jewelry insurance plan will make no distinction between losing a diamond earring at work and losing an earring while skiing in the Alps.
How do jewelry insurance rates compare to jewelry’s replacement value?
Again, this is a similar concept to homeowner’s and car insurance. Rates will vary depending on where you live, your insurance plan’s deductible, your wearing history, daily wearing habits, and more. In general, most insurance rates will run 10 cents to the dollar when compared to the jewelry’s total value.
What is the jewelry insurance claim process like?
Insurance claims for jewelry go through a very similar process to car insurance claims. A policy agent will assign you a claim number and you will be asked to provide any relevant photos, police reports, and documentation about your stolen jewelry.
Two documents that will be essential to filing a jewelry insurance claim are a value appraisal for the stolen piece and, if it is a piece of diamond jewelry, the center diamond’s GIA or AGSL certification report. Don’t worry if you lost your appraisal or diamond grading report; we will send you another appraisal and the grading laboratories should have no problem sending you a replacement report.
How do I get the most out of my jewelry insurance?
In order for your jewelry insurance plan to be truly worth its cost, you must reassess it from time to time. My recommendation is this: every year, before you do your taxes, spend some quality time with your jewelry collection. Note any new pieces you acquired throughout the year, and evaluate your pieces that are currently insured.
As the market value for certain jewelry materials fluctuates from year to year, so will the value of your jewelry. You should take special care to double-check that the market values of loose diamonds and gold jewelry have not increased or decreased significantly. You can use this information to adjust your policy accordingly.
Is your jewelry insured? Did you ensure your most expensive pieces, your engagement ring, or your entire collection? Feel free to share photos and any other questions in the comments below!