Is Your Jewelry Covered On Your Homeowner Insurance Policy?
Homeowners need to read the fine policy print to know if their jewelry is actually fully covered on their insurance policy. Depending on the kind of policy coverage can range from none at all to being fully insured. It’s also important to know that the total value of your jewelry can seriously impact whether or not all of it is covered. You may need additional jewelry insurance.
There are many options when it comes to insuring valuable items. Some policies include a set dollar amount for valuable items and may be just fine for the young person with Timex watches and Jewelry that doesn’t have a lot of individual value. But when it comes to Rolex watches and rare diamonds in elaborate settings, special attention is needed.
When you are setting up coverage for valuable items like jewelry, it’s best to have a local independent Insurance agent review your policy’s coverage. He can recommend changes that might need to be made. He may suggest the addition of a “floater” or even suggest a second policy to deal with that item alone. Because he represents more than one company, your local independent agent can provide more options available to protect your precious jewelry.
Do I have To Notify My Homeowners Insurance Company about New Jewelry?
Normally homeowner insurance contains a fixed maximum amount of coverage for jewelry (per item and total). How much you have depends on your individual policy language. However, if you have a valuable ring or a family heirloom, special coverage will probably be necessary. With most companies to obtain this coverage you will need to get a professional description of the ring and an estimate of replacement value. (It is important to review these as the values can change because of inflation and other reasons.)
Obviously for most people the first time they would have to deal with coverage for jewelry, would be after the purchase of an engagement ring. Most insured’s should consider the possibility of adding an Insurance “rider” (Also called an insurance coverage extension) to their homeowner’s or renter’s policy. This type of coverage would normally be designed for a particular item. If the insured does not have an in force policy or desires a specific form of coverage, a stand-alone policy can be purchased. Obviously this option would be probably be more expensive, but the flexibility of the coverage might make it a better choice.
As additional jewelry items are purchased an insured may wish to consider blanket coverage rather than insuring each item individually. Insurance them as a group can lead to a much lower insuring cost and can offer immediate protection for additional purchases (as long as the coverage limits are high enough).
Any insurance coverage you select should be review with your local independent insurance agent. She can help you understand what coverage you currently have available and what step need to be accomplished to add any additional coverage. One good question to ask your agent is if mysterious disappearance coverage is currently provided under your policy . . . and if not is it available and at what cost. If you have foreign travel plans you might want to discuss geographic coverage limitations.
Will my homeowners insurance policy cover my jewelry?
It’s one of the most precious gifts you can receive. Your loved one has just given you sparkly diamond earrings or a beautiful pearl necklace. But what happens when one of your most prized possessions is stolen? If you’re like me, you want to know that your expensive wedding ring and other jewelry are covered in case the worst should happen.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 1994 to 2011, personal items such as jewelry and watches were the most common items taken during burglaries. With the values of gold, silver, and other precious metals on the rise, your jewelry is even more tempting to criminals.
Many homeowners assume that when they purchase insurance, everything in their home will be covered. But, make sure you read the fine print. Most homeowners insurance policies only cover jewelry up to a few thousand dollars, usually as a rider to the general policy. With the value of jewelry constantly on the rise due to inflation, the price you paid is not usually the price your pieces are worth. So, the average protection of $1,000 to $5,000 may not be enough.
There is also a difference between whether the item was lost or stolen. If you accidentally lose your brand new designer watch, most likely your homeowners insurance will not pay to replace it. If you inadvertently break the watch face, the policy may not cover this either.
So, what should I do?
In order to ensure that you have enough protection for your valuables, a bit of investigating needs to be done. First, review your current homeowners policy with your insurance agent. Read the fine print and determine exactly how much coverage you have for your jewelry. Next, have your jewelry appraised. As mentioned previously, the value of your rings and necklaces will increase each year. Have the items appraised and provide all necessary documentation to your insurer. Create an inventory of all the valuables, along with receipts and appraisals, and save them for your records in the event that you need to make a claim. Your insurer will also need to know approximately how often you wear the item. If it’s a wedding ring, you probably wear it every day and it therefore carries more risk.
After investigating the value of your items compared to your current coverage, speak with your independent insurance agent about adding a rider or “scheduling” the items. Then, you can be assured that the full value of the jewelry will be covered in the event of a loss. According to Matthew Cullina of MetLife Auto and Home, “That makes the claims experience easier because there doesn’t need to be an investigation into the value.”
Purchasing additional coverage through your homeowners policy doesn’t have to be expensive. Of course, it depends upon the level of protection you require, such as coverage against items that are lost, stolen, or accidentally damaged. In general, however, coverage can be as low as $10 to $15 per $1,000 of coverage annually. So, if you have $10,000 in jewelry, that’s only $100 per year out of pocket. Unfortunately, very few people take advantage of added coverage, or are even aware that they might need it. According to Jeff Moree, the director of speciality property lines for Allstate Insurance Company, only 7 to 8 percent of their clients have the additional rider on their homeowner’s policy.
Like homeowners insurance, your renters policy will only cover valuable items, like jewelry, up to a specified amount. Generally, the coverage is less than $5,000. So, the best way to make sure your items are protected is by purchasing an insurance rider. They are usually cost-effective and can be added to your current renters insurance.
So, make sure you speak with your insurance agent soon! Procrastination may prove costly. And, it is easy to lose sight of how much your jewelry is worth as the years go on. Moree states that people often “go through life making purchases and don’t look back in the rear-view mirror and realize what they’ve acquired over 10, 15, 20 years. Then there’s a break-in and they discover they don’t have the appropriate coverage.” Get the protection you need today.
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