Did you purchase some jewelry for your spouse this Christmas? We’re sure this made it a very special holiday for them, and they will cherish your new piece of jewelry. How can you protect your gift you might ask? You can actually insure your jewelry on your home owners insurance policy. This is a pretty easy and simple way to insure jewelry, however if your jewelry is over a certain dollar amount, you may need to take out an individual policy on the jewelry itself. Either way, we can help you determine how to best insure your jewelry for the most affordable price.
Let’s start with your home owner’s policy. Is your jewelry automatically covered under your home owner’s policy? The short answer is of course, it depends. The long is answer is that some home owner policies will cover your personal jewelry up to a certain amount. Most home owner policies in Texas will cover you for a blanket amount (usually a percentage of the value of the home) for all of your personal property that is located within the house if you were to have a loss from a fire, theft, or other event. Usually the amount your jewelry would be covered for is capped at a fairly low amount, which means that if you or your significant other spent some serious money on your jewelry this year, it likely wouldn’t be fully covered on your home owner’s policy. This is of course a very general statement, you should definitely consult with an insurance professional to review your current insurance policy before making any risk management decisions when it comes to protecting your jewelry.
What about “Scheduling” your jewelry?
Have you every heard someone say that they are just going to schedule their jewelry or other personal possession on their home owner’s policy? What does this mean and can you do the same thing? This just means that they are going to insure their jewelry on their home owner’s policy by stating the jewelry and the dollar amount individually on the policy rather than letting it fall under that blanket amount. Again, this is something you may want to do if your jewelry has a higher value than what they jewelry capped amount is on your current insurance policy.
What is an inland marine policy?
An inland marine insurance policy sounds confusing but it really is quite simple. An inland marine insurance policy covers a particular item or group of items/possessions wherever they go (unless otherwise stated by the policy). If you are traveling and you happen to have your ring stolen, an inland marine policy should cover the total cost of your ring unless the insurance company can help locate the ring that was stolen in the first place. Some inland marine policies will even cover an item that is lost, whether you know what actually happened to it or not. You obviously shouldn’t abuse your insurance policy, and insurance fraud is a very serious issue, but if you genuinely lose an item your inland marine policy should compensate you for it. The nice thing about most inland marine policies, particularly if you have a highly valuable, or group of highly valuable jewelry items, is that it covers the items wherever they go even if you aren’t with those items. You might have to check your luggage and if your jewelry happens to be lost or stolen while your bag is away from you, it would still be covered. If you have a significant amount of jewelry, this type of insurance coverage could be best for you.
How can you protect your jewelry aside from insuring it?
- Regularly check all your jewelry for wear and tear. This especially includes the prongs holding your gemstones and the clasps on all your chains and bracelets. Periodically have a professional jeweler check your more valuable and frequently worn pieces.
- Make sure your rings fit properly. Loose rings slip off fingers. Men are especially susceptible to this malady.
- Keep your jewelry locked up. A bank vault is safest but personal, home safes are good, too. They’re even better when bolted to the floor or in the wall. The easier it is for you to comfortably access your jewelry the more you’ll wear it. So don’t lock it away so well that it’s a pain to get to.
- Leave your jewelry at home when traveling in various third world countries (and certain cities in the US!).
- Take off your jewelry before going to the beach, weeding and planting bulbs, repairing your plumbing, working out at the gym, building snowmen, and countless other activities that don’t require “bling.”
- Keep a file of all your jewelry. Include pictures, receipts, certificates, and appraisals. This might not insure its safety but it’d be nice to have as proof for the police that the recovered jewelry was in fact yours. It wouldn’t hurt to keep a copy of this information in a safe deposit box, as well.