If you just look at its surface, you can see that jewelry is made up of precious gems and metals. But if you take a deeper look—into the lives behind the jewelry—you can see its additional, and staggering, significance in our lives. A ring symbolizes a husband and wife’s pledge to build a life together, a gold bracelet demonstrates parents’ love for their daughter as she enters adulthood, or an antique heirloom brooch represents a family’s legacy, lovingly passed down through multiple generations. Losing jewelry, or having it damaged or stolen, often hurts us more than the loss of a television or a wallet because not only must we cope with the loss of an item of financial value, we also must grapple with the loss of a cherished memory and tangible representation of emotion. Fortunately, a jewelry insurance policy can go a long way toward mitigating the loss.
Homeowner’s insurance policies usually cap the maximum amount paid out for jewelry. If your jewelry carries a value higher than the maximum amount specified in the policy, you will want to schedule your jewelry on your policy. To schedule your jewelry, you will provide an itemized list to your insurance agent of each piece of jewelry and its value. You will also want to ensure that each and every piece of jewelry you own is appraised to its full value and thoroughly photographed and documented in case of theft or loss.
It is recommended that you have your jewelry pieces independently appraised. Some jewelry insurers require policyholders to have jewelry valued at over a certain amount, such as $50,000, appraised. But the danger in not knowing the exact value of your pieces is that you could pay too much in insurance premiums or find yourself with too little coverage on the unfortunate day that have to make a claim.
Your agent or insurance company can help you find approved appraisers and can let you know if there are any certifications that they require an appraiser to hold before they will accept their appraisal. Other important questions to ask of your agent include whether you will have to pay a deductible, whether jewelry is covered everywhere (such as when worn or transported during international travel), and whether the jewelry will be replaced or you will be reimbursed with cash in case of loss.
Some antique or one-of-a-kind jewelry items are irreplaceable, but your insurance policy should reimburse you with the funds you need to create a new legacy, and new memories with your loved ones.