Because jewelry is often high-valued (especially in relation to its size), is easily lost or destroyed, and is vulnerable to theft and fraud, basic homeowner policies provide very limited coverage for property such as jewelry. If your jewelry consists of high valued pieces, consider buying special insurance coverage.
A few options are available such as buying supplemental insurance that is attached to your homeowners or tenant’s policy or purchasing a special, separate jewelry policy. In either case it’s important to insure jewelry in order to be compensated should it inexplicably become lost or missing.
The first step is to discuss your coverage options with an insurance professional. This will allow you to understand how a loss will be paid. Does the coverage consider every conceivable type of loss, including:
- Loss of items whose value has increased over time?
- Does it cover mysterious disappearances?
- Loss due to fire?
- Loss due to theft?
An understanding of the coverage also helps you understand the steps you must take to ensure that you keep the maximum coverage in force and that any coverage you purchase is worth the additional price.
Documenting the jewelry’s value
Any jewelry recently purchased should be accompanied by a store receipt or certificate establishing the insured value. However, the insured value should be reevaluated, annually or bi-annually. Getting an appraisal that affirms your jewelry’s current value is an excellent way to assure that your property is properly protected.
Keep records and provide security
If you own a significant amount of expensive jewelry you may want to look into other valuable precautions such as:
- Taking photos of your jewelry from several angles and share copies with your agent or insurance company
- Consider a quality in-home security system, including a hidden vault or storage area
- Be careful when wearing your jewelry and to try to avoid becoming a target of theft
- Keep original receipts and all appraisals, and
- Ask your jeweler whether they have access to “Gemprint,” a jewelry identification system that documents a jewel’s distinctive markings much in the manner of fingerprinting
Take the proper steps to insure jewelry in order to have the protection you need at a price you can afford.