Having a collection of high-end jewelry allows you to effortlessly change and polish your look. However, high-end jewelry is also a target for thieves, can fall off during a long evening, or crack after a fall. Having insurance for your luxury watches, diamond earrings, and tennis bracelets is essential to protect your investment in case something happens.
Why Insure High-End Jewelry?
High-end jewelry represents a significant financial investment. If you own a high-end car or have a collection of artwork, you likely have insurance in the case of an accident or theft. Jewelry is even more likely to be damaged since you wear it to parties, bring it with you while vacationing, and change it regularly. Additionally, if you attend publicized events while wearing recognizable jewelry, like one of the famous men’s luxury watches by Rolex, a thief may target your home in search of your jewelry or watch collection.
While some pieces are irreplaceable, having insurance covers the repairs or provides money for you to purchase a new item to help soothe the pain of your loss. If you’re dealing with a home invasion or berating yourself for losing your favorite ring, having to shell out the money yourself only makes the situation worse.
Doesn’t My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover This?
Many people make the mistake of thinking their homeowner’s insurance covers their high-end jewelry collection. It’s essential to check the fine print of your insurance policy. Many policies exclude certain high-end items like jewelry, artwork, or musical instruments, while others have a maximum limit that your jewelry collection may exceed. Instead of just assuming your policy covers your jewelry, call your homeowner’s insurance provider to ask. Many insurance companies offer the option to purchase a rider — or an addition — to your policy that ensures the coverage of your high-end items. This rider, called jewelry insurance, is the best way to keep your jewelry safe.
What Is Jewelry Insurance?
Companies often provide this type of policy as a floater for small, expensive items you wear like jewelry or furs. You may need to take out a separate floater policy for each item, depending on the cost and your insurance company’s regulations. Although you may be able to merely increase the coverage allowed by your homeowner’s insurance, purchasing a jewelry floater means that you receive full payment in case of lost, damaged, or stolen jewelry.
Most companies require you to have a professional appraise your items before qualifying for jewelry insurance. Even if the company doesn’t require this, it’s best to have an appraisal since the value of some pieces can increase over time. If you don’t go through the official channels, you could receive less than the piece is worth as compensation.
Questions to Consider When Purchasing Insurance
Choosing the best policy for your jewelry isn’t easy. You can ask several questions to determine if the insurance policy is the right choice for you.
- Will they cover the full replacement cost?
This is an essential question. Some high-end items cost upward of $50,000, so you want to check that the insurance company will fully reimburse you if you lose or damage your piece. Some may have exceptions, like accidental loss vs. theft, so ask about all potential problems. As a follow-up to this question, ask how they determine the reimbursement amount. They may request that you have a yearly appraisal or that you use a company-approved appraiser.
- How does their claims process work?
Different companies handle claims in their own way. Some require you to purchase the replacement yourself, later submitting a reimbursement request, while others will just give you the money.
- What proof do you need to show when claiming an item?
Most insurance companies require proof of loss when claiming an item. Knowing in advance what evidence you’ll need can help you act in the event of a loss. For example, if a thief steals your ring, you may need to give your insurance company a police report to receive your reimbursement. Or, they may require proof of damage from a jeweler if you request a refund for repairs.
- Are there any exclusions to this policy?
Often, policies exclude certain types of losses and damages from coverage. These could include theft or loss while traveling with your jewelry or dropping your ring down the sink. You may need to purchase additional travel insurance for your high-end jewelry or pay extra to include all types of damage.
- Do your reimbursement prices fluctuate?
Some items, like gold or precious metals, increase or decrease in value according to the market. You should ask the company whether they reimburse based on the latest market value or your last appraisal.
How to Prepare for Insuring Your High-End Jewelry
If you like all the answers your insurance company provides, you will receive a quote, followed by a contract. Before signing, you may want to follow a few steps to ensure you get the full reimbursement if necessary.
First, have every piece appraised. Send your insurance company a copy of the appraisal, but also keep one for your records. You may want to keep one physical copy in a safe while also having a backup online.
Next, take photos of all your jewelry. Save them to the cloud and a hard drive, making sure to clearly label each image with the item’s name and the date. Take pictures from multiple angles and take pictures of you wearing the pieces so they can verify the jewelry belongs to you. These pictures will also come in handy if you lose your watch at the beach or a ring slips off at dinner since you can show the police the photos to help them in their search.
Enjoy Your Jewelry with Insurance
If you don’t have insurance for your jewelry or watches, you may feel uncomfortable wearing them. Having beautiful pieces locked up in a safe instead of on your wrist or neck may defeat the purpose of purchasing them. By having full coverage insurance, you can feel free to wear your jewelry out to dinner or to your next formal event, secure in the knowledge that if something happens, you won’t be out of pocket.