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The average cost of an engagement ring is $6,000, according to The Knot. And the costs don't stop with the proposal: The average female wedding band is $1,100 and the average men's wedding band is $550. Losing uninsured jewelry such as an engagement or wedding ring, expensive watch or family heirloom bracelet could be expensive, as well as emotionally draining.
If you have valuable jewelry pieces that you may not be able to afford to replace if they are lost, stolen or damaged, you may want to protect their value with jewelry insurance. You can add most jewelry to a jewelry insurance policy to safeguard your items.
Is My Jewelry Covered Under My Homeowners Policy?
Jewelry may be covered under homeowners, renters or condo insurance policies. Coverage may pay for repair or replacement of damaged jewelry. These policies may have coverage limits for valuable items, however, which the value of the piece could exceed.
Homeowners policies and the like often have a per-item coverage limit within a total payout limit when you file a claim; this limit will apply to valuable items such as jewelry. The per-item limit is generally around $1,500, which can leave valuable pieces underinsured.
If you want to cover valuable jewelry under your homeowners policy, you can add a rider. This expands your homeowners policy to cover items specifically noted under the rider. It lets you document the individual value of a piece of jewelry in the hopes of being compensated properly if it's damaged or destroyed.
But there are some reasons you may not want to use just a homeowners policy to cover valuable pieces of jewelry. A homeowners policy is open to some limitations; for example, it:
- May not cover accidental loss
- May require repair work to be done by a designated jeweler
- May require that owners surrender jewelry to the insurer if they paid out for a missing piece that is later found
If you're looking for a broader policy that applies specifically to jewelry, taking out a jewelry insurance policy may be the best thing.
How Does Jewelry Insurance Work?
Jewelry insurance is a policy designed to grant coverage specifically to your jewelry. It is priced per piece so that you have customizable coverage and costs depending on what jewelry you own. Jewelry insurance can cover many pieces, such as:
- Engagement and wedding rings
Jewelry insurance policies cover a wide range of events leading to loss, such as if the jewelry goes missing.
You can buy jewelry insurance for either the actual cash value of your pieces or the replacement cost. The difference in these values is defined as follows:
- Actual cash value: The actual cash value of an item is what it's worth today, given expected depreciation from its purchase price. Insuring for this value is more affordable.
- Replacement cost: Replacement cost is the value you would have to pay today to replace the same or an equivalent item. This may cost more in premiums.
To make sure you get adequate coverage, you may need appraisals. Appraisals are when a professional looks at your jewelry and gives you an official value. You should keep all appraisal documentation and other information like original receipts in case you need to make a claim.
How Much Does Jewelry Insurance Cost?
There are several variables in the price of jewelry insurance. These include where you live and the value of each item. Typically, you can expect a policy to cost 1% to 2% of the item's value.
Just like with most other types of insurance covering property, your jewelry insurance policy may also have a deductible you're required to pay before your insurance company pays for a lost or damaged piece. Be sure to check what this deductible is and calculate it into your overall costs, and adjust your coverage limits if necessary.
Remember, the average engagement and wedding band set could cost just over $7,000. This means a policy on an average set could be as low as $70 a year.
Do I Need Jewelry Insurance?
Not everyone will want or need jewelry insurance. An estimated 41% of engagement ring buyers do not purchase coverage, according to a 2021 survey from jewelry insurance provider BriteCo. But of those who had purchased it, 59% had made a claim within the past 10 years. So, there is a good chance most engagement ring owners will have a reason to file a claim eventually.
If you have foregone jewelry insurance because you have a warranty on the jewelry, be aware of coverage limits. Warranties may not cover loss, damage, disappearance or theft. If these issues are a concern, opting for a specific jewelry insurance policy will give you the most coverage.
Purchasing jewelry insurance may be worth it if:
- You want to protect the value of your jewelry.
- You want more coverage than a warranty offers.
- You don't have another policy with adequate coverage (such as a homeowners policy with a jewelry coverage limit below the value of your jewelry).
- You can't afford to easily replace your jewelry out-of-pocket.
- You have high-value or heirloom jewelry that may be cost-prohibitive to repair or replace.
Insurance is meant to help mitigate risks and losses. If losing a particular bracelet is an acceptable risk to you, you probably don't need jewelry insurance. But if the value of the bracelet is too high to risk losing, you may want to insure the piece, just in case.
Jewelry Insurance Is Another Tool in Your (Jewel) Box
If you are concerned about something happening to your jewelry, consider insuring it. When it comes to protecting items that you value the most, insurance policies can help grant you peace of mind.
To get the best rates on your jewelry insurance policy, make sure your credit score is in good shape before purchasing. Like many insurance policies, jewelry insurance companies may use your credit-based insurance score to decide on your rates where it's allowed. A higher score can mean a lower premium. You can get your free credit report and score from Experian to see where you stand.
Accidents happen, but you can protect your financial investments of sentimental, valuable jewelry with the right insurance.