Jewelry is one of the world’s oldest archaeological artifacts, having been used for centuries across multiple cultures to mark social status, store wealth or as a symbol of personal meaning.
In the 21st century, it isn’t uncommon for someone to own designer jewelry collections, engagement and wedding rings, and antique heirlooms. But whether a Rolex watch, an engagement ring or grandma’s authentic art deco earrings, it’s important to have insurance to protect its value.
Why Insure Jewelry?
Jewelry is covered under most homeowners and renters insurance policies, but many have exclusions and coverage limits. A basic policy may have limits as low as $1,500. While theft is typically a covered peril, damage or accidental loss may not be.
A jewelry rider (floater) or a specialty jewelry insurance policy can an offer added protection. Coverage is more comprehensive and normally involves insuring to the replacement value. This may involve an appraisal.
Additionally, jewelry insurance often offers coverage for “disappearances,” or losses where the timeline cannot be reconstructed, as well as worldwide travel coverage for loss or damage. That means if you lose your diamond earring while swimming in the ocean in Bora Bora, a specialty jewelry policy will keep you from ugly-crying over the loss.
How To Protect Your Valuables
With a jewelry policy in place, it is important for policyowners to take proper steps to keep their items safe.
- Opt for secure storage. Keeping jewelry in a home safe may offer more of a feeling of protection than shoving items in the bottom of the sock drawer, but many retail safes can be just as insecure. Thieves can easily lift a lightweight safe and chuck it down the stairs or out the window and make a run with it. Instead, a heavy, well-made safe bolted into the wall or floor in a hidden area on a lower level of the home is the way to go for home safes. The investment in a high-quality safe can be worth its weight in all your gold for the protection it offers.
- Take precautions when traveling. Speaking of safes, when traveling, assess the hotel room safe before putting items in it. While the safest place for jewelry when you’re traveling is to keep it at home, if the room safe doesn’t seem up to snuff, try asking hotel staff to keep items in the hotel’s master safe.
- Regular upkeep is key. Of course, what would be the fun of keeping jewelry locked up? It is meant to be worn after all, but before you sport it out and about, inspect pieces to ensure clasps work and prongs are keeping stones in place. Make sure jewelry can’t break easily or fall off while being worn before heading out the door – especially older antique pieces or heirlooms that have passed through many hands.
- Don’t flaunt it. Not everyone can tell if your Tiffany & Co. piece is designer or not – and that’s a good thing. When traveling with jewelry, avoid transporting items in branded containers (like that iconic blue box). When having a piece repaired or altered, try bringing it to the jeweler it was purchased from to limit how many people know about the piece.
- Keep appraisals up to date. The only thing worse than a jewelry loss might be not receiving proper compensation for it. Specialty insurers typically cover jewelry for up to 150% of the value. Have jewelry appraised to ensure it’s covered for the right amount.
- Stay on top of jewelry inflation. To account for jewelry inflation, appraisals should be updated at least every three to five years. Appraisals should be conducted and verified by professionals. Documentation verifying authenticity, photos and any related receipts should also be saved to help ensure proper valuation.
- Jewelry insurance isn’t one and done. It’s important to reevaluate your jewelry insurance policy. Every year take an inventory of all jewelry. Contact your agent for a policy review.
Jewelry should be worn and stored in the safest ways possible. Connect with us about your best options for loss protection. Full replacement of your set in the event of a loss will keep you looking like a million!
At General Insurance Services, we are a team of insurance professionals with an array of experience, backgrounds, and interests. We’re advisors with a mission to secure the future of the communities we serve. Share our knowledge through this blog allows us to get one step closer to achieving our mission.