Jewelry Insurance: How to Insure Valuables in Your Home

Fran Majidi August 23, 2019

Do you keep your jewelry in a bank or at home? Which is better, to keep your diamonds in a home safe and insure them or to store your valuable jewelry in a bank safe? You may have a few valuables that amount to thousands of dollars, maybe even tens of thousands.  Even one piece of estate jewelry or a vintage diamond ring may be worth more than the payout maximum on your home insurance policy or renters insurance. We show you how to insure jewelry the right way.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Jewelry?

Jewelry is usually covered under renters insurance but the limits on your coverage may not be enough to cover the theft if it’s more than $1,000. As for damaged jewelry or missing stones, it’s nearly never covered. If you lose it or it disappears and you’re not sure how it went missing (filing a claim with no police report), it’s almost never covered. Let’s say your apartment is overtaken by a flood or earthquake, it’s iffy whether or not your renters insurance will cover your loss and to its full value. Only a rider will fully cover your jewelry. You’ll need an appraisal to get it covered for what it’s truly worth.

If you don’t have renters insurance, visit here and we’ll pair you up with a trusted agent. You should always carry renters insurance, even when it’s not required. You can’t have a rider without basic renters insurance.

Does Home Insurance Cover Jewelry?

Most people assume their homeowners insurance has more coverage than a renters insurance does. However, when it comes to valuables, most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage or lost jewelry, not if it mysteriously goes missing. Theft is always covered, but to limits and usually only if you have a valid police report.

Even if your situation is one that would be covered, you must pay a homeowners deductible to get paid out for the jewelry and you may not get the full value for your loss because of low limits.

Should I Add a Jewelry Rider to My Home Insurance?

If you’re a homeowner, buy a rider for your jewelry and add it to your home insurance policy. On average, the standard homeowners insurance policy covers around $1,000 for jewelry. The average home insurance policy is set up to protect the average household so the limits will not be sufficient to cover expensive or valuable jewelry.

Jewelry is not the only thing that a rider can protect. You can buy riders for artwork, expensive china, rugs, antiques, and special equipment you keep in your home gym. A rider is like a small insurance policy for these items.

Riders are as good as the insurance companies that write them for you, which is why you want to make sure you have a reputable insurer. Some have limited coverage; others will even cover damages, like a missing diamond in a diamond-studded ring.

If you decide that using a rider is right for you, be meticulous about checking the itemized value listed for each piece of jewelry and make sure each item is on the rider. If you use a safe deposit box, you may be eligible for a discount on your rider(s).

If you’re still wondering, “How much does it cost to insure jewelry?” It really depends on the worth of your jewelry. Make sure to get homeowners insurance quotes for a homeowners policy with a reputable insurer first, before buying the rider(s). To find out how to determine the value, you must get an appraisal of your jewelry (see more on this below).

Best Jewelry Insurance Options

First, get a quote for how much it would cost to have a homeowners insurance with a rider. But more importantly, always get multiple insurance quotes, especially for homeowners insurance, to make sure you’re not over-paying for insurance. Next, get a jewelry insurance quote from a private insurer who specializes in insuring precious jewelry (specialty jewelry insurance companies). However, it’s a good idea to check their status on Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see how they handle claims. Reading the reviews will give you a good idea of how they treat different types of losses. Are clients happy or not -- if not, then why not? Look over the good reviews, too, not just the bad ones to get a more balanced view.

The answer to the question  “What is the best insurance for jewelry?” depends on the worth of your jewelry and your lifestyle. There are other questions you should ask yourself. Is the jewelry worth $100,000 or only $10,000? Are you a diamond dealer, a gemstone dealer or a jeweler (in those instances, you need commercial insurance.). How secure is your home and neighborhood? Will a rider cover the jewelry and cost you just a little more each month? Can you buy a safe that is not easy to remove from the home? Or, does it just make more sense to keep your valuable jewelry safe in a bank and not give it a second thought? The answers to these vary widely and the right answer really depends on many factors specific to your life.

If you decide on buying a safe for your home and getting a better home insurance plan with a rider, we suggest using a safe with a combination lock if you lose keys. They even make fingerprint locks if you’re worried about forgetting the combination.

Even though the safe is secure you’ll want to hide it in a safe place, not in plain sight. Anchor the safe to the foundation or at least the floor. Some people even have safe rooms built into their homes. A stolen safe defeats the purpose of buying one so make sure it’s secured somehow.

What Happens if I Store My Jewelry in a Bank Safe

Even when a bank declares bankruptcy, your property doesn’t belong to the bank so you would not be affected. Any possessions kept in a bank safe will always be yours. You will be limited in taking out your valuables during bank hours, however. You will also be insured with the bank so you don’t have to worry about getting the full value of your jewelry back. You must make sure to keep a reliable inventory of what’s being stored in your personal safe. Using photographs along with a list that is notarized is best. The chances of your jewelry disappearing from a bank safe are highly unlikely, however. There are drawbacks however: you’re at the mercy of bank hours and verifying your identity each time you want to withdraw your jewelry.

Jewelry Appraisal for Insurance

First of all, What is a jewelry appraisal or gemstone appraisal? It’s a description of and a detailed assessment of the worth of a piece of jewelry or stone, such as a diamond. You will be given a retail value and a wholesale value. The retail value will reflect the replacement value while the wholesale value will reflect a cash value (what’s it’s worth today).

Appraisals are done by experts and are based on market research values. Other details found in an appraisal: weight, dimensions, cut clarity and color; geographic origin; color treatments; natural vs unnatural (synthetic) and other factors.

A salesperson who sells you jewelry is not an appraiser. A reputable appraiser will be a certified graduate gemologist or will work in a gemological lab.

Always hire an appraiser who is not in the market for buying jewelry for profit. For more on jewelry, appraisals visit the International Gem Society page, where there is also a list of high-end, reputable appraisers.

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