When I got engaged to my wife, I was not in the insurance industry and insurance was one of the last things on my mind at the time. However, a really wise person, my father-in-law, suggested that I needed to contact my insurance agent right away about my new and exciting jewelry purchase. At the time I had no idea why this was important but when your soon to be father-in-law who has been in insurance 40 years makes a suggestion like that, you just do it! Assuming not everyone has an insurance agent father-in-law and with Valentine’s Day being a famous time for buying jewelry, I think it is important for others to know why my father-in-laws jewelry advice was so valuable.
What Jewelry Coverage Do I Have?
If you have a home or renter insurance policy, jewelry is covered but there are a few important exceptions and limitations that could leave you very disappointed if you had a claim.
A standard PA home or renter insurance policy has a $1,500 limit for theft on jewelry and no coverage if it is lost or misplaced. This means if all your combined jewelry value is worth more than $1,500 or if you own any one item is worth more than $1,500, you will want to call your insurance agent and talk about purchasing additional insurance.
Additional Insurance Options
Increase Theft Limitation – For an additional premium, you can buy extra jewelry theft coverage on your home or renter insurance policy. However, many home and renter insurance policies do have maximum theft coverage limitations of around $5,000 and the home or renter insurance deductible still applies for any jewelry loss.
Add Coverage for Losing and Misplacing – The standard PA home or renter insurance policy covers your personal property, including jewelry, on a “named perils” basis. Theft is one of these named perils or causes of loss; however, losing or misplacing jewelry is not a named peril. This means if the diamond in an engagement ring falls out or you lose the ring on your honeymoon it would not be covered!
To include coverage for misplacement or losing jewelry, you must add an endorsement to make the coverage on all your personal property “open perils”. The major advantage to adding this endorsement is all your personal property, not just your jewelry, has much broader coverage and the examples above would be covered. However, the same maximum theft limitation probably applies to losing or misplacing jewelry and that could leave you without enough coverage for more expensive items.
Personal Articles Floater – A personal articles policy could be a great option because it generally includes the “open perils” coverage including theft, losing and misplacement, it can have a zero dollar deductible and it has no value limitations on the jewelry. The floater can be added to an existing home or renter policy or it can be written as a separate policy. The only disadvantage to a personal articles floater is that you may be required to have an appraisal within the last 3-5 years or a receipt for more expensive jewelry.
If you recently got engaged or received a new Valentine’s Day jewelry gift, make sure you have the necessary insurance. While no one can put a price on sentimental value, insuring your jewelry can keep it financially protected if it is lost or stolen.
Note that home and renter policy coverages and limitations vary by state, insurance company and policy type. Any coverages, limitations or values listed in this article are general guidelines and may not be the same as your specific policy. Check with a licensed insurance agent before making any insurance decision.