Should You Have Your Jewelry Insured?
June 21, 2011 by Jacki Christopher
Your jewelry is not only beautiful to wear it is an investment. It holds memories and moments, symbolizes commitments, and tells family history. No one ever plans for a disaster, but ensuring your jewelry and taking proper precautions can help shield the impact of an unexpected event.
Robberies, fires, and natural disasters happen everyday, but we don’t imagine they will happen to us. But as in the areas of health care and homeowner’s insurance, we know it’s wise to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Take the same attitude when you consider your jewelry.
The first step is to review the pieces of jewelry that you own. Family heirlooms that are not frequently worn should be stored in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box. In the event of a disaster, you may be able to recoup the value of the jewelry, but not the piece, so placing heirlooms, antiques, and other rare items in an off-site location for safekeeping is a wise move.
Before insuring your pieces, have them appraised by a professional. The price of gems and precious metals is constantly in flux as availability changes, the economy shifts, and global relationships evolve. A professional appraisal lets you know exactly what your jewelry is worth and helps you to insure it properly.
Once you know the value of your gems, check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to see if they are covered in your policy. Many homeowner policies do cover jewelry, but many do not cover the full value. You must read your policy or speak with your agent to find out exactly how much of your jewelry is covered by your policy, if there is a deductible, and what the process will be for replacing lost or damaged jewelry. To find out after a tragedy has occurred, that you are not covered for your jewelry, intensifies the sense of loss and distress. Know where you stand with coverage on your jewelry.
If you have determined that the value of your jewelry exceeds the provisions of your homeowner’s insurance, you have two options. One, speak with your insurance agent about adding a rider to your current homeowner’s insurance police to cover the difference between the worth of your jewelry and the coverage of your original insurance plan. This will often be the best value because of your existing policy and relationship with the company.
If it is not possible to add a rider, or if the worth still exceeds the coverage that your homeowner policy can provide, you will want to seek independent coverage for your jewelry. This type of coverage is relatively inexpensive when you consider the sentimental and monetary value of your jewelry. Shop around to find a policy that offers you not only a competitive rate, but also flexibility in the conditions surrounding the claims they will cover and the options you will have for replacing your jewelry.
Your jewelry is too precious to gamble with. Store your jewelry safely, keep photos of your pieces, have it appraised regularly, and bring it to a jeweler for routine maintenance to make sure stones are firmly set and clasps are in working order. Keep your jewelry safe and beautiful for generations to come!
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