Home Insurance FAQ: The Jewelry Edition
One of the most commonly asked questions in home insurance is, “What about my jewelry?”
For many people, the most expensive thing they own – besides their house – is jewelry. Once the house is insured, they wonder about their second biggest asset: their diamonds, their rubies, their gold, oh my!
Often, people are not aware that they already have coverage.
Whether you inherited an heirloom piece decades ago, or just accepted an engagement ring last week, your home insurance policy covers your jewelry. However, there are limitations to this coverage.
Most jewelry insurance claims are for lost items, so insurance companies limit the amount of coverage they include for items that are lost or stolen. (Jewelry damaged or destroyed in a fire or explosion would be covered to its full replacement cost value.)
A typical home, condo, or renter’s insurance policy covers around $5,000-$10,000 worth of jewelry automatically. This limit varies by insurance company, and policy type, and is for the total value of all your jewelry, not per item. To find out how much jewelry coverage is included in your policy, contact your home insurance broker.
If the total value of all your jewelry (whether it is one piece or 100 pieces) is more than what is included on your policy, you have options to increase your protection:
- Some insurance companies offer enhanced limits for jewelry and other hard-to-replace property (like stamp or coin collections). By paying a flat fee each year (often $50-$100), you can increase your total coverage limit for jewelry, sometimes as high as $25,000.
- You can add individual jewelry items to your policy. This is called “scheduling,” and is perfect for unique and expensive pieces. The cost to schedule a jewelry item to your home insurance policy depends on the value of the item, and the deductible you choose.
- Separate jewelry insurance policies can be purchased. (This tends to be the most expensive option, but can work well for those with extensive and expensive jewelry collections.)
Scheduling jewelry to your home insurance policy is a popular option. Not only does it guarantee you will have enough coverage for your pieces, it also reduces or removes the deductible on the items. If you have a $7,500 ring, and do not schedule it onto your policy, it would be subject to the policy deductible (usually between $500 and $2,500). However, if you schedule the ring onto your home insurance policy, the deductible is much lower, and oftentimes is removed altogether.
Adding specific jewelry items to your policy is easy to do! All that’s needed for less expensive items (under $10,000 apiece) is a detailed description of the item and sometimes a bill of sale to establish the value of the item. For items with higher values, a professional appraisal is typically required to ensure the item is insured to the proper value. The limit of insurance coverage for the item should be the total cost to replace it at regular retail value (not on sale) including tax.
Even if it is not required by your home insurance company, it is wise to have your unique and valuable jewelry appraised periodically, in case it ever needs to be replaced.
To learn more about your options for jewelry insurance, contact your broker!
Morgan Thomas, BA (Dtn.)
Administration Coordinator & Personal Insurance Trainer