Jewelry is a very personal valuable. More than any other type of possession, it intimately ties us to moments and milestones in life. It can be heartbreaking if said jewelry that represents these special moments in your life is damaged, lost or stolen. In this article, we will discuss insurance coverage that is included with your home or tenant’s policy, as well as examine separate jewelry insurance policies that will ensure you keep your valuables protected.
What does your home insurance policy include?
There are several different types of home insurance policies that range in the amount of coverage they offer. These policies cover your home against someone injuring themselves on your property and damages to the structure itself, be it from a storm or vandalism.
A comprehensive, or “all risks,” policy is the most inclusive type of insurance, as it covers your dwelling and the contents within it. It also gives you contents insurance, which typically covers your valuable possessions, but you shouldn’t assume it covers everything. There are special cases where personal belongings may need a little extra coverage, and that’s where an added endorsement for contents insurance comes in to play. If you aren’t sure of your insurance coverage or need to add on additional coverage, please don’t hesitate to contact your isure broker!
What is Contents Insurance?
Contents insurance covers loss or damage to the personal belongings you keep in your home, such as jewelry. What should be noted, however, is that insurance companies will not allow you to allocate coverage to your items. Rather, comprehensive policies can limit the amount the insurance company will pay out to you for specific items that are lost, stolen or damaged.
It’s important to understand what your home insurance policy includes. For example, Intact Insurance offers coverage for items that are lost or stolen (including jewelry), up to a total of $10,000 (but only up to $2,500 for each item.)
Aviva Insurance, on the other hand, reimburses damaged, lost/stolen jewelry, watches and fur garments up to $6,000, and doesn’t specify a “per-item” limit.
Jewelry insurance is available on your homeowners’ or tenant’s insurance policies, but it won’t reimburse all that much. Standard coverage is minimal, often capping the reimbursement for jewelry, watches and furs to between $3,000 and $6,000 for all your belongings in that category.
We’ve gathered these tips on how to add your jewelry to your home insurance policy:
1. Determine the value
You may have received a certificate with your diamond engagement ring, so it’s worth it to look over it first. In most cases, this certificate will only show the value of the diamond, not the band or setting. For insurance purposes, it’s a good idea to purchase coverage of the whole ring so that you can replace it if it’s ever lost or stolen.
2. Find an appraiser
Professional appraisers take courses in their field and keep up-to-date on market trends, techniques and values. The Canadian Jewelers Association represents appraisers across the country. Find one here.
3. Get an appraisal
Whether your ring is brand new or a family heirloom, we recommend getting a formal appraisal of its value. A professional appraiser will examine your ring and provide you with a document containing an unbiased opinion of the identity, composition, quality and market value of your ring. You’ll need to pay a fee for the service, so make sure you negotiate it ahead of time.
4. Get a second opinion
Appraising is an art, and valuing can vary from store to store. If you’re not happy with your assessment, you can always have another one done.
Remember to contact your isure insurance broker and provide them with a copy of your appraisal to help them get started on determining the right coverage for you. We’ll work with you to figure out how it will affect your home insurance policy!
PLEASE NOTE: Jewelry trends and market values change over time. In the future, you may need a new appraisal to keep your insurance up-to-date. Go online to the Canadian Jewellers Association website to find an appraiser near you.
5. Consider “Special Limits”
Certain valuable items often have set coverage limits, which are commonly referred to as “Special Limits.” If you own a ring worth $10,000 and your policy has a special limit that only covers jewelry against theft and mysterious disappearance up to $6,000, you’ll want to consider updating your insurance policy so that this valuable is sufficiently protected.
How to protect your belongings
Keep a record! To ensure that you are covered for any future claims involving your jewelry, follow these next steps for your peace of mind:
- Keep your receipts so that you can prove ownership in the event of a claim
- Take photographs of your valuables
- If an appraisal was completed, ensure that your broker is aware and keep the original copy of the appraisal
- Keep your receipts, photos, appraisal information and your jewelry somewhere safe.
If you have been gifted/inherited a collection of valuables or have jewelry with sentimental value, it makes sense to buy an endorsement on your home insurance policy to make sure the gems are covered.
What is Jewelry Insurance?
You’ve reviewed your policy and had your jewelry professionally appraised. You’ve determined that your engagement RING does not fit within the limits of your property policy. What should you do?
If your jewelry items are irreplaceable, then you should insure them with separate jewelry insurance. A stand-alone jewelry policy would fill in the gaps left behind by your home insurance policy in terms of protection of your valuable item. A lost, damaged or stolen item may cost you too much to replace. By investing in jewelry insurance, you’ll eliminate the worry of loss or damage to your costly luxury items.
Jewelry insurance policies are different from simply adding “jewelry insurance coverage” to your homeowners or renter’s insurance. It will offer more extensive coverage and will also have a separate deductible. Dedicated jewelry insurance may be more expensive, but may also be better suited for insuring your valuables. It’s best to compare quotes from several jewelry insurance providers – consult with your isure broker for more information.
Which items would fall under Jewelry Insurance?
The most common items that fall under “jewelry insurance” include engagement rings, wedding bands, watches, earrings, antique necklaces and loose stone replacement. Your isure broker can help you determine which expensive items should be included in your jewelry insurance coverage.
Benefits of Jewelry Insurance:
- Provides better protection for your jewelry than regular home insurance alone
- Covers most risks to jewelry, including theft, disappearance, damage, a gem falling out and destruction
- Repair and replacement coverage
- You can have a separate, lower deductible
- Affordability, when compared to the expense of having to repair or replace
How does Jewelry Insurance work?
Jewelry protection insurance is a separate insurance policy meant particularly for insuring jewelry. Like scheduling your jewelry with a floater, jewelry protection insurance covers your precious jewels beyond common insurance perils. Unlike a floater, though, claims made against a jewelry protection insurance policy aren’t counted as a claim against your homeowners insurance.
Home policy vs. Jewelry Insurance: Making a claim
If you’ve opted for a jewelry floater on your home policy, you’ll need to make a claim with your home insurance, even if it’s only your jewelry that’s been affected. Don’t assume all home insurance policy coverage is the same. Policy conditions may kick in if your possession is damaged, but may not if it is lost or stolen.
On the other hand, an individual jewelry insurance policy kicks in whether you lose an earring, a stone falls out of a ring or there’s a mysterious disappearance. Perhaps there was a family heirloom missing from your home after a dinner party, or maybe your sibling “borrowed” your diamond earrings and forgot to tell you. Even if you have suspicions but no proof, the jewelry insurance policy will pay out.
In either case, your settlement will depend on your insurer. Some will simply send you a cheque, while others will dictate the replacement or reparation of a piece. It’s important to discuss how claims work with your isure insurance broker, and the options you’ll have for settlement.
How much does Jewelry Insurance cost?
Whether you have bought separate jewelry coverage or an add-on to your home insurance policy, pricing can be affected by the following factors:
- Coverage selected, including settlement options, policy limits and deductibles
- Your insurance and claims history
- Value of the pieces being insured
- Where you live, specifically your area’s crime rates
- Storage of your jewelry, with or without security features
If you purchase a separate jewelry policy, your premium will be at around 1-2% of the collection’s value. For example, if you’re looking to insure a $10,000 engagement ring, your annual premium would be between $100 and $200.
Important tips to remember
Keep updated appraisals
Endorsements for jewelry and watches typically cover the item’s replacement value, which often increases over time. Therefore, your insurer may require a new appraisal from a certified gemologist every five years for that newly purchased time piece.
If you’re searching for alternatives, know that you can buy separate coverage for your jewelry on a separate policy. It can be more expensive, but if you have to make a claim, premiums for your main home insurance policy won’t be affected.
Moving homes? Remember to update coverage
While insuring jewelry through your home insurance policy is handy, keep in mind it will lapse if you move. You will need to add the endorsement to your new home’s policy, otherwise if your possession is lost or stolen, you will no longer have the coverage you had prior.
Be sure to call your isure broker to discuss your coverage if:
- Items have a value that exceeds your Personal Property coverage limits
- You own items whose value exceeds the Special Limits on your policy
- Making purchases, received a gift or inherited something of value
- Coverage Limits and Special Limits vary depending on the valuable item that’s insured. If you rent or own, and whether you have comprehensive, basic or broad coverage, your available coverage will differ.
In summary, if the value or number of jewelry items that you own is higher than what your home policy limits include, you can either add a jewelry rider to your existing insurance or purchase a standalone jewelry insurance policy. Jewelry insurance provides an extra level of care for some of your most cherished possessions, so if you are unsure of what option is best for you, be sure to speak to your isure broker today!