man proposing to woman

How to financially protect your fine jewelry

Whether it was love at first sight or a relationship that has prospered over time, what better way than on Valentine’s Day to express your affection. According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics, just over half (52 percent) of U.S. adults plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, spending a total of $21.8 billion.1 While candy, cards and flowers top the list for spending, 18 percent of that will be spent on jewelry.

Perhaps you’ll be gifting a diamond necklace or bracelet. Maybe you’ll be presenting an anniversary band for a milestone year to signify your time together. It could be that you will ask to start your life with someone, after all, February is a popular month for popping the question.2

No matter the occasion, don’t miss a critical step on the journey of writing your happily ever after story together: protecting your investment.

It’s not glamorous like fancy jewelry and certainly isn’t as significant as the love you share, but when you make a large jewelry purchase, you want to know it’s protected. Jewelry losses are among the most frequent of all homeowners content-related insurance claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute.3

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies will cover jewelry that’s lost, stolenor damaged, but it won’t happen without taking some important action.

  1. Contact your insurance agent
    While it might seem like an extra step, you need to notify your insurance agent of your new purchase. For your jewelry to be covered under your policy, your agent needs to add your new purchase to your existing policy. This is typically called scheduling an item or adding a rider. Policies aren’t written to assume there is jewelry that needs to be covered, or prices would be higher for everyone across the board, so don’t forget to take this step.
  2. Determine if your standard policy provides enough coverage
    Most policies for homes and rentals cover between $1,000 and $2,000 to replace or repair jewelry for loss due to theft, but may cover higher amounts for fire or wind loss such as tornado or hurricane. Typically, there is no coverage for mysterious disappearance, or situations where jewelry is misplaced or lost. Talk with your agent about whether this coverage will adequately protect your purchase. Some engagement rings can cost upwards of $5,000, which means you may need to discuss additional options. In this case, your agent might suggest an endorsement or floater. You’ll pay a little more – typically only one to two percent of the purchase price of the item – but you won’t have a deductible. Plus, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that if your item is inconveniently dropped down a drain or slipped off a finger, it will be covered, which is usually not the case unless it’s added with a floater or rider to your current policy.
  3. Have your item appraised
    Purchasing an endorsement or floater may require an appraisal. If all the talk of jewelry has you remembering an heirloom piece in your jewelry box, or if you used a family gem to propose, you’ll want to be sure to have the piece appraised as well. Additionally, if you scored a deal on your new jewelry purchase it may be worth more than you paid, so a receipt to verify value might not be enough. Your insurance agent may be able to recommend an appraiser. An appraisal assesses the item and assigns a value that can help you make your insurance decisions. When you’re at the jeweler, be sure to ask how frequently to have your jewelry inspected to check for loose prongs or worn clasps. Not only will this ensure that your items are preserved for years to come, but can help mitigate unnecessary loss.
  4. Add your new jewelry to your home inventory
    Home inventories provide a detailed list of the contents of your home. Having a home inventory simplifies the process of filing a claim should you need to because of a loss. It is a list, often by room, that records your personal items. A home inventory will include receipts, descriptions and photos or videos of the contents you would want replaced in the event of a claim. When you purchase new, expensive items – including jewelry – it’s a good idea to update your home inventory.

First on the list is to celebrate your partner and the love you share. Then, after your romantic dinner and gifts, rom-com fest and exchanging tokens of your affection or your long-awaited proposal follow these steps to protect your new treasures and your future.