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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Jewelry?

If you’re a homeowner, you most likely already know about homeowners insurance. Not only is it a good idea to have homeowners insurance to protect what is most likely your most expensive asset, lenders almost always require coverage.

Homeowners insurance covers the house itself (this is the “dwelling” part of your coverage). It also covers possessions such as furniture, clothing, and books (this is the “personal property” part of your coverage).

Since most people think of jewelry as part of their personal property, it’s perfectly understandable why they might ask, “Is jewelry insurance worth it?”

Let’s go over some of the reasons that jewelry insurance can be important additional coverage for those who need it.

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How Much Personal Property Is Covered by Home Insurance?

First, let’s tackle the straightforward question: Does homeowners insurance cover jewelry? As is so often the case with individual insurance policies, the answer is that it depends.

Jewelry is part of your personal property, but your homeowners insurance likely has coverage limits that could potentially affect a claim. Most homeowners insurance policies will place a limit on jewelry losses if something happens to it in a covered event. Depending on the amount and type of jewelry, those limits might not come anywhere near replacing what was lost or stolen.

So your homeowners insurance policy might cover lost, stolen, or damaged jewelry, but it’s important to check your specific policy and pay close attention to its coverage limits. For many homeowners, it is not likely enough to cover a loss. 

That’s just one piece of jewelry. The standard jewelry loss limit would apply to everything lost, stolen, or damaged in a covered event. If there is a break-in at your home and thieves make off with an engagement ring, earrings, and some heirlooms you’ve inherited, your insurance will only reimburse you up to the limit established in your homeowners policy—even if the actual value of the jewelry is much higher.

Here’s another thing you should know: Basic homeowners insurance will extend only to a named peril. That means, for example, that your jewelry may be protected up to the coverage limit if it’s lost in a fire—but not if it’s accidentally damaged or lost.

You shouldn’t assume that your homeowners insurance policy will cover jewelry. In fact, some policies specifically exclude jewelry from coverage. 

Another often overlooked issue is that if you sell your home or move away from your rented apartment and therefore no longer have that insurance policy, the jewelry listed on that policy will no longer be covered. A stand alone jewelry policy will offer protection independent of your homeowners policy. 

What Kind of Insurance Policies Are Available for Jewelry?

To truly protect your valuables, there are two different avenues you might take. You can add a coverage rider to your homeowners policy, or you can get separate jewelry insurance. 

There are a number of features and benefits to consider, depending on your situation, the value of the pieces you are insuring, and the type of coverage that will bring you peace of mind.

Adding a Jewelry Insurance Rider

One way to ensure your jewelry is protected is to add what is known as a rider to your insurance coverage. A rider is coverage that kicks in when the limits set by your basic coverage are either met or exceeded. This type of additional coverage can also be called a “personal article floater” or “valuable personal property rider.”

Depending on the requirements set by your insurer, you may need to make an itemized list of individual pieces you want the rider to cover. This will include a short description of each piece of jewelry. Some companies may require appraisals for pieces valued above a set dollar amount.

Riders may offer additional protections that aren’t available under your standard homeowners policy, such as coverage for damage or loss. If you accidentally hit your hand on something and one of the prongs securing your diamond comes loose, you’ll want that repaired quickly so that you don’t lose the stone—damage like this may be covered by your rider. And, if you didn’t notice the setting was loose and you do lose your diamond, you will be protected.

Read your rider closely, as it may require evidence such as a purchase receipt or other form of proof of ownership if or when you need to make a claim. For some items, such as family heirlooms, it might make sense to have these items appraised—even if it’s not required by the insurer—so that you have a list of the pieces you own ready if you ever need to make a claim.

An insurance rider might have a deductible you’ll need to meet before your loss is covered, so make sure you ask about this. Additionally, making a claim on your rider may also count as a claim on your homeowners insurance policy. As always, it’s important to understand which exclusions from the underlying homeowners policy apply. 

If your homeowners insurance policy excludes natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes (as most policies do), then those exclusions will likely apply to the rider as well. If a flood severely damages your home and your jewelry is lost too, you won’t be eligible to file a claim.

One benefit to purchasing a rider to your homeowners policy is that many insurers offer discounts when you have more than one policy through them, so you could save some money on your total premium.*

Purchasing Separate Jewelry Coverage

Purchasing a separate policy to cover your jewelry is another option that offers additional benefits and protection. This type of standalone policy is usually offered by insurers that specialize in covering jewelry.

One big advantage to this type of coverage is that making a claim won’t be reflected on your homeowners insurance policy—which can impact your rates. This might not seem like a significant distinction, but when you consider how easy it can be to lose a piece of jewelry, needing to make a claim isn’t that far-fetched. If you have a number of high-value pieces that you wear frequently, it can certainly be reassuring to have the protection of jewelry insurance and know that making a claim won’t cause your homeowners premiums to go up.

Another benefit to standalone policies is that they frequently will cover events that are excluded on homeowners policies, and they can even offer more protection than riders. For example, while losing your jewelry in a flood or earthquake is usually excluded under a standard rider to your homeowners policy, that loss may be covered by stand-alone jewelry insurance.

Damage and “mysterious disappearance” are only sometimes covered by riders, while they are usually covered by standalone policies. Additionally, most separate jewelry insurance policies either have no deductible or offer zero deductible as an option.

If you have a large collection of valuable jewelry, another advantage of a standalone policy is that there’s no set coverage limit. You provide the jewelry insurance policy provider with documentation of the pieces you own—either an appraisal or purchase receipts—and your coverage is customized to the value of your pieces.

Why Should I Insure My jewelry?

One of the worst surprises homeowners get is learning that their homeowners insurance doesn’t cover jewelry losses. It’s an understandable assumption: Shouldn’t all your “stuff” be covered by your general homeowners policy?

Jewelry is small and valuable, which makes it a target for stealing. It’s also really easy to lose a piece, whether it’s a misplaced earring or a stone falling out of its setting. You’re likely wearing pieces frequently, which subjects your jewelry to damage and wear and tear. These twin risks—easy to steal and easy to lose—mean that your jewelry is likely more at risk from loss than most items in your home.

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The Bottom Line

It might surprise you to learn that jewelry insurance can be very affordable. A good estimate of what it might cost is about 1 to 2% of the value of your jewelry, annually. That means a $5,000 engagement ring could potentially cost as little as $50 to $100 per year to insure.

It’s important to protect yourself against financial loss, and if you have valuable or sentimental pieces—especially if you wear them often—you’ll want to make sure you’re covered. Get a free jewelry insurance quote today and get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your valuables are protected. 

Disclaimer: 

* Savings, if any, vary based on a consumer’s profile and other factors. Contact your insurance agent for more information. Restrictions apply.

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