Find out how to insure jewelry and why your collection needs its own coverage.
You pull into your driveway after a nice long weekend away. As relaxing as a short vacation is, coming home is always exciting. Just as you get out of your car, though, you notice your basement window is broken. Then you notice your back door is blowing in the breeze. The excitement of vacation shatters as you realize your home was broken into while you were gone.
Your television and your old iPod are gone, but fortunately, your jewelry collection is untouched, including your grandmother's wedding ring and your great aunt's pearl brooch. You decide you're going to find out how to insure jewelry first thing tomorrow morning.
Why to Insure Jewelry
If you have homeowners or renters insurance, it may seem redundant to purchase a separate policy for your jewelry. In most cases, however, that's not true.
Your insurance policy covers a lot: lodging if your home becomes uninhabitable, repairs due to a fire, and replacement of personal belongings. However, most policies only cover personal belongings to a certain extent. Collections and items that have a high value, such as jewelry, usually require an insurance rider or enhancement.
This isn't to say that you'll need an insurance enhancement to cover your college class ring or even a lovely necklace, but some types of jewelry are particularly good candidates for jewelry insurance.
People often insure engagement rings both because they carry a high monetary value and a high personal value. Family heirloom jewelry may or may not have a lot of monetary value, but it almost certainly has high personal value.
Family heirlooms and some pieces within a large jewelry collection may be difficult to replace, and while an insurance check won't bring back stolen earrings, it will give you the means to at least attempt to replace them or invest in a new piece that may become an heirloom.
How to Insure Jewelry
The first step to insuring your jewelry is to get an appraisal. The price of metals and gems changes rapidly, so an appraisal is key to determining the true value of your jewelry. The American Gem Society maintains a listing of certified appraisers searchable by state or zip code.
Keep your appraisal, a purchase receipt (if you have one), and photos of your jewelry in a safe place, such as a fire-proof safe, along with your other important paperwork. Then get in touch with your insurance company.
When you work with your insurance agent to determine how to insure jewelry for the correct amount, there are several variables that will influence how much your policy costs and how much it covers.
The most obvious factor is the appraisal of your jewelry, but the coverage you get is more open to your needs. Most policies will cover theft, for instance, but an accidental loss may not be covered without a specific clause.
It's also important to find out if your coverage is for the original cost or appraisal of the jewelry, the current replacement value, or a portion thereof. Your insurance company may also require you to work through a preferred jeweler for any repair or replacement claims. That's neither a positive or negative, but it is something to keep in mind if you have a favorite jeweler who isn't covered under your plan.
Once you determine what coverage is right for you, don't forget to have your jewelry reappraised every few years. If there is a change in the value of your jewelry, make sure you adjust your insurance coverage accordingly.
Cost to Insure Jewelry
Without talking to an insurance agent, it's impossible to say what coverage for a jewelry collection would cost. The amount of coverage you need is an obvious factor, as is the amount of your deductible (a higher deductible equals lower premiums).
Other, lesser-known factors influence the cost of a premium, too. You may get a discount on your policy if you have a home security system or if you keep your collection in a safety deposit box.
On average, though, insuring rare, expensive, or sentimental jewelry may cost less each month than a cup of coffee.
Don't leave your jewelry at risk. Find out how to insure jewelry and any other special collections by calling your Pekin Insurance agent today.