HOW TO GET YOUR JEWELRY INSURED
Not sure whether or not to insure your jewelry?
There are several types of insurance policies that can cover your jewelry. There are significant differences between them that are important for you to understand. **
Most homeowner’s insurance and renters policies have a blanket with limited coverage for theft of personal property such as jewelry. However, there are several limitations to be aware of. Most policies have a limit per occurrence and/or a limit per item, and also have a deductible. For example if your $1,800 ring is stolen and your $10,000 blanket policy has a $2,000 limit per item and a $500 deductible, you will receive $1,800 less the $500 deductible or $1,300. If your $6,000 ring is stolen, you will receive $2,000, but this is a fraction of what is needed to replace it. Some policies have significantly higher blankets while others are less. The blanket normally covers you for loss or theft, but not damage.
You can also schedule fine jewelry on a separate rider attached to your homeowner’s or renters insurance. You will pay a separate fee to insure these items. For this fee, you will be covered for loss, theft or damage. This is a major distinction from the blanket. Supposing you accidentally bang the ring in to a wall? The restoration or replacement of the ring is covered. If you catch a prong and your diamond is lost? The cost of replacement and repair of the ring is covered. We know that diamonds are the hardest substance known to mankind, right? You can certainly chip a diamond. And if you do, it will be covered.
What document is needed to get a jewelry item scheduled?
Submit an appraisal for insurance purposes that accurately describes the jewelry, including metal content and gemstone weights and quality. At Maurice Badler Fine Jewelry, we will do this professional service for you. We do not accept a fee for ourselves. We ask that you make a donation to the American Cancer Society instead. You may read about our "Jewelry Appraisals for a Cause" program here.
What type of items should be scheduled separately?
Some people schedule everything, and don’t mind paying the premiums. I recommend insuring items with a minimum value of $1,000. When it comes to very expensive items, at what point should you self-insure? Consider insuring all items that you wear often, as those are the ones most likely to be lost or damaged. If there is are pieces that sit in the safety deposit box at the bank for most of the year and you take them out for weddings, you can save on premiums by not scheduling those items.
What about policy exclusions?
All insurance policies have exclusions of some kind. Be sure to understand the limitations before purchasing your policy. Supposing the ring needs to be shipped to the factory for repair, is the item covered during shipping to and from the factory, or do you have to purchase insurance from the shipper? The best companies provide this “worldwide coverage.” They won’t usually be the least expensive, but they provide more coverage than those companies that charge a lower premium.
Should you insure items that are worn only occasionally like special events?
Many insurance companies offer this variation for scheduled items. If you warrant to them that the item is normally kept in a safe or bank vault, but you only pull it out a few times a year for several days at a time, the premium for that item will likely be 50% less.
Should you make a claim for damage repairs?
Some people tell me they hesitate to put in a claim if the loss or damage is small. I agree. Placing claims may raise your insurance rates. So if the repair is up to a few hundred dollars, you probably won’t want to bother contacting your insurance company. But if there is major damage to the diamond or mounting, place the claim. That is why you are paying premiums!
What do I do if I have a loss or damage claim?
You will need to notify your insurance carrier and provide them with a letter detailing the cost of replacement or repair. We can give you that. My suggestion is to call us first. I am happy to help you with the process. If you speak with the company first and don’t know the cost of repair or replacement, you may accept a settlement for less than it will cost to repair or replace. I am your advocate and will make sure the replacement is at least as good as what you had before.
I don’t have a renter’s or homeowner’s policy. Or, I prefer to have an independent policy. Is there a way to insure just one item, like an engagement ring?
Yes. There is a relatively new policy underwritten by XL. You pay an annual fee for coverage similar to attaching a rider to your homeowner’s policy but it is often less costly. It is not attached to your homeowner’s policy. Therefore, if there is a claim, it should not affect the rates for other items covered under your homeowner’s policy. I have looked into this and, from what we can see, it is a terrific alternative. It often costs less than scheduling a ring under your homeowner’s policy and provides great similar coverage. Ask your broker about this option.
I have been running Maurice Badler Fine Jewelry for more than 30 years. I am here to assist our clients in any way possible. Please contact our office for an appointment at (800) M-BADLER (800) 622-3537
Visit the Maurice Badler Fine Jewelry store at 485 Park Avenue (between 58th & 59th Streets) in New York City Monday through Saturday from 10 AM – 7 PM. And Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas from 10 AM – 5:30 PM.
** Please do not rely on this article to make decisions about your insurance. Seek advice from your licensed insurance broker who can assist you in making the choices that are appropriate for your situation.