Whether it’s a family heirloom or a Valentine’s Day gift from a special someone, jewelry often has a value beyond dollars. Insurance can’t cover the sentimental loss of those glistening treasures if they go missing, but with the right jewelry insurance coverage, you can protect the financial value of your precious jewelry.
Recent FBI statistics indicate reported burglaries are on the decline. That’s great news for jewelry owners — except that there are still over 1.5 million burglaries reported each year. Add in nearly a million robberies and it’s clear that crime is still a big risk to homeowners and renters — and jewelry is a favorite target for thieves.
Insure Your Jewelry With Your Home Insurance
Tip: compare 2-3 quotes
There are several ways to insure your jewelry, ranging from your homeowners or renters insurance policy to specialized insurance policies specifically for jewelry.
The Best Jewelry Insurance:
- Best for Custom Jewelry Coverage: Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group
- Best for New Jewelry: Lavalier
- Best for Antique Jewelry: State Farm Personal Articles Policy
- Best for No Deductible: Zillion
- The Best Jewelry Insurance:
- Insuring Your Jewelry With Your Home Insurance Policy
- Home Insurance Scheduled Personal Property
- Home Insurance Jewelry Coverage Caveats
- Personal Articles Policy
- Specialized Jewelry Insurance
- Appraisals for Specialized Jewelry
- Where You Store Your Jewelry Matters
- The Best Specialized Jewelry Insurance Companies
- Final Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
Insuring Your Jewelry With Your Home Insurance Policy
It’s a common assumption that your jewelry is insured if you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy.
This is true — but only partly. A standard home insurance policy does offer coverage for personal property, including jewelry. However, coverage for certain types of valuables, like jewelry, firearms, furs, and some other high-dollar items is usually limited by category.
For example, you might expect a $5,000 ring to be insured for $5,000. On a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, that ring is probably insured for somewhere between $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the coverage limit for jewelry on your policy.
The second concern with depending on coverage from your home insurance policy to protect your jewelry is that claims are subject to the deductible you’ve chosen. The deductible is the part of the claim that you pay. Deductibles can range from $500 up to $2,500, or possibly more in some cases, effectively reducing your coverage by that amount.
Here’s an example of how a claim might work with personal property coverage:
|Item||Value||Jewelry Coverage Limit (Per Item)||Deductible||Claim Payment|
As you can see, $4,000 has gone missing — and now you have a claim on your home insurance history. One claim by itself might not be enough to raise rates, but combined with other claims or other rating factors, your premiums might go up at renewal. Expect to find two limits for valuables insured as personal property on a home insurance policy. Typically, there is a per-item limit and a total limit for that category of item.
Home Insurance Scheduled Personal Property
One way to insure your jewelry to its appraised value and avoid the deductible is to insure your jewelry as scheduled personal property, which just means that a particular jewelry item is specifically listed on your policy. Insuring your jewelry this way does increase your premium but you can rest easy knowing that you’ll get full payment for the value of your jewelry. Scheduled items usually are not subject to a deductible, so you have two benefits:
- Your jewelry is insured for its full appraised value.
- Your claim payment won’t be reduced by a deductible, which can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
|Item||Value||Jewelry Coverage Limit (doesn’t apply)||Deductible||Claim Payment|
With scheduled personal property coverage, your claim payment is for the full insured value of the lost or stolen jewelry.
Home Insurance Jewelry Coverage Caveats
Your home insurance policy covers many risks, but not everything. In fact, personal property is often covered for fewer risks than your house itself.
You’ll want to read the fine print on your policy, particularly the covered perils and exclusions if you’re counting on your home insurance policy to cover your valuables. Of note, many home insurance policies have a “mysterious disappearance” clause, which can affect your coverage if the cause of the missing jewelry is unclear. Home insurance also does not cover wear and tear. Consider your home insurance coverage to be only for damage or loss.
Personal Articles Policy
Some insurers offer a special type of policy called a personal articles policy, although you might find the same type of policy under different names, such as the often-confusing moniker inland marine insurance.” This is a stand-alone policy that is not connected to your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Claims made on a personal articles policy do not affect your home insurance policy.
Typically, a personal articles policy can be used for one item, or for several, but you’ll need to provide a recent appraisal or a recent proof of purchase. For jewelry items, an appraisal is usually a better option because it describes the jewelry item in detail. In most cases, a personal articles policy can insure your valuables without a deductible. However, many times these policies are written with a default deductible amount. Be sure to check your policy details.
A personal article policy is available through many of the large insurers, such as State Farm or Allstate. You might also find some companies referencing a personal articles floater. A personal article floater may or may not be a separate policy from your home insurance, depending on the insurer. In some cases, it’s the same as scheduled personal property.
Specialized Jewelry Insurance
A handful of insurers have made a name for themselves in the market by offering insurance policies specifically for jewelry. Jewelry insurers bring a few benefits when compared to scheduled coverage on a home insurance policy. In both cases, your jewelry is covered anywhere in the world.
However, with specialized jewelry insurance, there are fewer holes in coverage. Home insurance policies only cover specific risks, excluding floods and often earthquakes. Mysterious disappearance, which just means you don’t know how or where your jewelry was lost, is also a concern with some home insurers who won’t cover such claims. Specialized jewelry policies typically cover all risks, including floods and mysterious disappearance. Exclusions are also limited to less likely perils such as war or nuclear hazards. Don’t confuse this coverage with jewelry warranties, which are frequently sold by jewelers.
A jewelry warranty is much more limited in scope than an insurance policy and is usually structured as a service plan that does not insure loss.
Appraisals for Specialized Jewelry
For valuable jewelry, an appraisal is often a basis for determining a coverage amount, although a recent detailed receipt may be acceptable to insurers in some cases.An appraisal states not only a value for the jewelry but also a thorough description of the jewelry, describing all its features such as metal quality, gemstone weight, cut, and clarity. Both gemstones and precious metals are subject to market forces that can drive values north or south.
Gold prices more than doubled between 2009 and 2011. Diamond prices also doubled between 2000 and 2016. Because the prices of precious metals and gemstones are volatile, it’s important to keep current appraisals.
It’s recommended that you get new appraisals every 2-3 years, which helps to ensure that your jewelry isn’t underinsured, but your insurer may have specific requirements. Changing your coverage amount to match the most recent appraisal keeps you closer to full coverage for your jewelry. The amount of detail in an appraisal is also helpful if you have a claim. The detailed description is the roadmap for finding a replacement or having one made.
Where You Store Your Jewelry Matters
Jewelry stored in a bank vault is likely to earn a discounted premium compared to jewelry kept at home or worn daily. Insurance premiums reflect risk and insured value. By storing your jewelry at a bank vault and only removing it when needed, such as for special occasions, your jewelry is safer. If you’re receiving this discount, some insurers require evidence that you have a bank vault and prior notice when the jewelry item will be removed from the vault.
The Best Specialized Jewelry Insurance Companies
Based on our research, experience, and the criteria above, we picked the best-specialized jewelry insurance companies for this year.
1. Best for Custom Jewelry Coverage: Jewelers Mutual
Formed by jewelers over 100 years ago, Jewelers Mutual is one of the oldest names in the business end even keeps GIA Graduate Gemologists and AGS Certified Gemologists on staff. Deductible choices begin at zero deductible, so full coverage without any out-of-pocket expenses is available. Expect to pay about 1-2% of the value of your insured jewelry each year in premiums with Jewelers Mutual. Lower deductibles can increase premiums, but rates may not be appreciably higher depending on insured value and claims history.
Nationally known insurers such as GEICO trust their specialized jewelry insurance policies to Jewelers Mutual, another nod in the specialized jewelry insurer’s favor. Coverage limits are based on the value of the jewelry you insure with Jewelers Mutual, confirmed by an appraisal.
2. Best for New Jewelry: Lavalier
With coverage limits of up to $50,000 per item and higher limits, if approved by underwriting, Lavalier can insure the jewelry owned by most people. Coverage for jewelry items valued over $5,000 requires an appraisal less than 18 months old. For items insured for less than $5,000, a detailed sales receipt is sufficient for valuation. You can choose your own deductible with Lavalier, with options as low as zero deductible.
The deductible, as the part of the claim you pay, can drive premiums up or down depending on how much of the financial risk you are willing to accept if your jewelry is lost, stolen, or damaged. Lavalier also provides discounts for insuring multiple items and an option to insure unscheduled items, meaning less valuable items that do not have an appraisal. Unscheduled coverage is limited to $1,000 per item and is subject to a $100 deductible per occurrence. Newly acquired jewelry is automatically covered for up to 30 days, allowing your time to add the item to your policy. During this time, coverage may be limited.
3. Best for Antique Jewelry: Personal Articles Policy by State Farm
Staying power matters when you’re trusting an insurer with your precious jewelry. A massive network of local agents is a comfort when you need to add items to your jewelry insurance policy — or even if you just have coverage questions. State Farm, with over 18,000 agents has that staying power and local presence. State Farm’s personal articles policy isn’t a jewelry-specific policy but is structured similarly. What State Farm’s personal articles coverage offers, in addition, is flexibility. You can use your policy for more than just jewelry.
Have an antique piano? Add it to your policy. Have valuable art? Add that as well. This eliminates the issue of having separate policies for every type of valuable you’d like to specifically insure — while still keeping claims for these valuables safely away from your home insurance policy.
Buying a personal articles policy with State Farm won’t earn any extra discounts on home, auto, or any other policies, but it can be convenient to have all or most of your coverage for life’s valuables with one company.
4. Best for No Deductible: Zillion
Zillion can protect your jewelry from loss, theft, damage or other unforeseeable circumstances. The best part? It will cost you $0 out of pocket for replacement or repair. Another added bonus: Zillion’s coverage is worldwide so even when traveling the globe, you’re covered. If you do have to file a claim with Zillion you can be sure they will address your claim with a sense of urgency. Within 24 hours your jeweler will be on the phone with Zillion to repair or replace your precious diamonds and the like.
There are some things that Zillion won’t cover when it comes to your jewelry: War, military, action, nuclear hazard, normal wear and tear or intentional acts. You can get a custom quote from Zillion and also cancel anytime PLUS receive a full refund if you do so within 30 days. Take a chance on Zillion so you don’t have to take a chance on losing your valuables.
Many people assume that jewelry is insured as part of a homeowners or renters insurance policy.
While partly true, these policies can leave massive gaps in coverage that can turn a lost, stolen, or damaged jewelry claim payment into a pittance compared to the cost of replacement. Even insuring your jewelry as scheduled personal property, while ensuring full replacement cost coverage, leaves gaps in coverage and can affect your future home insurance rates if you have a claim.
The answer is either a dedicated jewelry insurance policy or a personal articles policy that can protect your valuables up to the full appraised value and is separate from your home insurance coverage, eliminating the risk of claims affecting your home insurance premiums.
Quotes are free, and insurers often need similar information to provide a quote, making the quote process quick as well. As is always recommended, get two or three quotes to compare prices and coverage features. The unexpected can happen at any time. Are you covered?
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How much does jewelry insurance cost?
With most jewelry insurance you can expect to pay about 1-2% of the value of your insured jewelry each year in premiums.
2) What exactly does jewelry insurance cover?
Typically jewelry insurance covers the full value of the item insured and that number depends on the appraisal. Depending on your insurance provider, coverage can include theft, loss and damage. When you do select a jewelry insurance provider ask about worldwide coverage, especially if you travel frequently. You want your valuables to be covered at all times, in all locations.
3) Does my homeowner’s insurance cover my jewelry?
This varies greatly on who you have a home insurance policy with but typical home insurance policies cover a very small amount. It’s wise to see if you can add a personal articles policy on to your home insurance and pick a coverage amount that will cover your jewelry.