If you were recently married or you're busy making plans for what will be one of the most memorable days of your life, there might be one important action that many people forget yet it's vitally important. Studies show that one third of all brides will lose their wedding ring at some point, and since the wedding ring is one of the most valuable pieces of jewelry most people own, insuring it should be on the pre-wedding to-do list.
Even if it's not wedding-related, if you have jewelry that is valuable, it's important to have it insured, and your homeowners insurance policy may not be enough.
Who Insures Jewelry?
The first place to call for jewelry insurance is the company holding your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Often, there is a maximum amount of loss that will be covered through your homeowners policy. Some may go as high as $7,500 while others may offer no protection. One popular insurance company says that most policies cover between $500 and $2,000, but only if the item is stolen.
For jewelry more valuable than the maximum limit provided by the homeowners or renters policy, purchase a policy rider that specifically covers the loss of the item. Most insurance companies require a current appraisal before they will insure the item and quotes can vary widely. The first place to get a quote is the company holding the homeowners or rental policy. After that, get at least two more quotes. Go to your insurance agent who will contact more than one company on your behalf.
There are other insurance companies that offer specialized jewelry insurance. These may include policies that insure the item for more than its current full value so any appreciation in value is fully covered. Other policies may have no deductible and may not ask for regular appraisals that can quickly add up in cost.
If It's Lost
It's your wedding ring. The last thing you want to do is take it off on your honeymoon, but after swimming with the dolphins in some faraway place, you find out why you should have resisted the urge to wear it in to the water. Somehow, you lost the ring in the water. After wishing you would have left it in the hotel safe, you feel some comfort in the fact that your homeowners insurance will cover the ring once you get home. Sadly, most homeowner's policies only cover a stolen ring. A lost ring may fall back on you to replace. To get around this, check with your insurer to see if it's covered, and if it's not, you may need a supplemental policy.
How About Damage?
What if a diamond falls out or the ring slips in to your garbage disposal? Depending on your policy, damage, much like a loss, may or may not be covered. Making assumptions about your policy can be a costly mistake. When you ask about how the policy covers loss, ask about damage as well.
The Bottom Line
Your homeowners insurance might be fine for basic coverage, but for valuable possessions or lost or damaged jewelry, a supplemental policy rider or specialized jewelry insurance from another company may be the best way to protect those items that not only hold financial value, but sentimental value as well.
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