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the journal

We highly recommend that you do! Here are some tips on insuring your ring and how the process works if you need to file a claim.

If you just got an engagement ring, or any fine jewelry really, you should insure it. And let me tell you why.

You might think to yourself: I’m responsible, I’m not going to lose my ring – it’s one of the most important things I own. Well, here’s the thing. One day you might suddenly find yourself taking off your ring to rescue your scared toddler off the wall at a rock climbing gym only to later find the ring is not in your pocket, having been lost amidst the chaos (yep this happened.. to me). Or maybe you will be out on the river on a nice summer day and decide to go water skiing only to have your diamond fall out (this happened to someone I know).

The thing is, jewelry insurance is pretty affordable and easy to get, and just might save you many thousands of dollars down the road.

Do I need separate jewelry insurance or can I just put it on my homeowners/renters insurance?

Please do yourself a favor and get separate insurance through a jewelry insurance company. We have all of our personal pieces insured through Jeweler’s Mutual. We have (sadly) had to file a claim and found them pretty easy (as insurance companies go) to work with.

The item limit for a personal property claim on your homeowners insurance is likely quite small (one or two thousand dollars) and wouldn’t apply in the case of accidental loss (only an event like theft or fire). Many people add a “floater/rider” to their homeowners policy to cover jewelry. However, if you file a claim because of lost or stolen jewelry, it can impact your overall rates. And as insurance underwriters are not exactly the most easy-going types, any claim can greatly complicate your life if you need to get a new policy for some reason (aka make it very difficult to even get a new policy at all)!

How does jewelry insurance work?

Usually it is quick and easy enough to sign up for insurance online by submitting your information along with an appraisal for your jewelry to the insurer’s website, and then paying the yearly premium, which is usually 1-2% of the declared value of the piece (which is how much your piece should be insured for).

Okay, then what happens if I need to file a claim?

Should you ever need to file a claim, the insurance company will either honor your declared value or propose a lower current replacement value of the piece (if they believe the market price of components like diamonds or gold are significantly lower now than at your appraisal date). The insurer will then either pay the jeweler directly or reimburse you (after you send receipts) for your purchase of replacement jewelry up to the declared / current market value of what you lost, whichever is lower.

In some cases, insurance claim managers may try to lowball the current replacement value, so be sure to have a trusted jeweler provide you an independent estimate and use that to challenge the insurer’s current market value estimate if it seems unfair.

But wait, what’s an appraisal?

An appraisal is a document completed by a professional in the jewelry trade that lists very specific characteristics of your ring or piece of jewelry along with the fair market value for the your piece at the date of the appraisal. The value is based on the cost of the piece’s materials like gold and diamonds, labor costs and customization. It may also consider the cost of comparable pieces across the market.

Usually, wherever you purchase your ring from will provide an appraisal when you purchase it (we do!), or complete one upon request for a fee. If that isn’t the case, you can also take your ring to a trusted jeweler for an appraisal.

So how exactly does an insurance claim process play out?

In our experience (personal and anecdotal from clients), the insurance company will ask you to substantiate your claim, if possible. For instance, when I lost my ring at the rock climbing gym, we were asked to have the manager from the gym send an email that stated that we did indeed search for the ring and ask for help in locating it (sadly to no avail). If you were robbed, you might be asked to provide a police report.

After the insurance company rules out fraud, then you will have the choice to either have a jeweler remake your exact piece and insurance will pay up to the price of your lost piece’s declared/current market value, whichever is lower, (sadly, not including tax), or you can choose something different, purchase it, and have the insurance company reimburse you up to the cost of your original piece.

Often, we see couples with insurance turn their would-be tragedy into an opportunity to upgrade and reimagine their rings!

Should I have my jewelry appraised periodically?

Usually, the maximum that jewelry insurance companies reimburse you when you file a claim will be the stated appraisal amount for a specific piece. That means that if you’ve had the jewelry or ring for years and suspect it’s gone up in value since it’s last appraisal, it’s worth having a new one completed and upping your premium by a few dollars. This will help guarantee that in the case of a loss your replacement ring can be as nice as your original piece.

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