February 26, 2012

Do You Need Jewelry Insurance?

A lot of people own some jewelry.   If nothing else you may have an engagement ring of considerable value.  What would happen if you were to lose that ring or if it were stolen?    If you have insurance coverage for your jewelry then it can help protect you against such a loss.

Do You Need It?

I honestly can't say if anyone would really need jewelry insurance.   I don't know how often people actually lose jewelry or how practical insurance is.  If I think about it one way, I would say that since jewelry is not a necessity there is no need to have it and therefore no need to replace it if its lost.  You might enjoy an expensive heirloom broach but if you lost it you would only be out the cash and would not experience any kind of hardship.   Another way I would think about this is that the best option financially is to not buy or own expensive jewelry in the first place, which saves you money all around.   In most cases I think insurance for jewelry is not necessary.  Thats just my opinion on the topic.

On the other hand accidents can happen and insuring against risks can make sense. Some people really enjoy jewelry and if they can easily afford it then who am I to say they shouldn't own the things they like.  If you do own expensive jewelry then considering the risks of losing it might make sense.   Maybe you are particularly prone to losing things and there have been a rash of burglaries in your neighborhood.   In such a situation maybe insurance makes good financial sense.   Another reason to buy insurance is simple peace of mind.  If you are a jewelry lover and have a collection worth a fair amount then not having insurance could be stressful and make you worry far too much about potential loss.   If you really feel you need insurance and you can afford it then I don't see a problem with buying it.


You May Already Be Covered
First thing to do is to check and see if your existing insurance coverage may already cover your jewelry.  If you have home insurance or a renters policy then it may provide some coverage for lost or stolen jewelry.   You may have enough protection there already to cover your jewelry.   However such coverage often has limitations and is not likely to cover the full cost of a more expensive piece of jewelry.  

Riders to Existing Policy
If your existing policy doesn't have enough coverage then you can check how much it would cost to add a rider to the policy to increase the coverage for specific pieces of jewelry.  You may need to get an appraisal or at least provide proof of the purchase cost for the items in question.

Buying a Jewelry Specific Coverage Policy
Another option is to get separate insurance just for the jewelry.   At least one insurer known as Jewelers Mutual will write policies to cover one or more individual pieces of jewelry.    They will even give free quotes for policies online without having to call and talk to an agent.    Just for example sake I got a quote off their site for a $10,000 ring with a $1,000 deductible.  The annual cost for such a policy was quoted at $86.00.   It may vary based on location and thats just a quote.   They even have the policy available to view online.
[note : I don't have any dealings with Jewelers Mutual so I can't endorse them personally]

Shop around and read policies

As with anything you should do your research and shop around.   Look for reviews of insurance companies and compare prices from multiple providers.  Specialty insurance can be very expensive or quite practical depending on where you get it.  You should also make sure to read the actual insurance policy and fully understand what it actually insures.  It would be a waste of insurance payments if your insurance doesn't even cover what you want and expect it to.

Take Reasonable Precautions
Your first line of defense against a loss is to be simply careful.   I am no expert on being careful with jewelry but I can at least mention some common sense tactics.  You should of course not leave your expensive jewelry laying around so anyone can see it. If a burglar or other thief gets into your home and finds all your jewelry nicely displayed on your vanity in an open jewelry box then you've unnecessarily aided them.   Being careful with jewelry on the beach, in swimming pools or in other active pursuits like sporting events is also smart so you don't lose a ring or other piece of jewelry.   Making sure your rings are property sized so they don't accidentally slip off is a good idea as well.

Bottom Line  : Whether you chose to get insurance for your jewelry is up to you ultimately.   If you do get insurance then make sure to shop around and consider a specialty insurer and compare to coverage through your existing policies.

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