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Insuring and Appraising Jewelry

On your typical renters or homeowners insurance policy, if someone comes into your house and steals your television, you’re covered. The insurance company will either give you money for the value of the television or give you its replacement value (purchase price minus depreciation) and while that is a headache to deal with, your television is covered. That isn’t the case for jewelry and so we’ve decided to get a jewelry rider on our homeowners insurance policy to protect the jewels that I’ve showered my betrothed with.

Erik interjects (from the comments below but they’re very important) and corrects me on the fact that jewelry is covered, the limit is just usually low such that a rider is necessary to fully insure them:

… there IS coverage for jewelry that is stolen. Usually, your policy puts a limit on certain categories of personal property like jewelry, guns, cash, business property, and other special items. Like on my policy, it covers jewelry up to $1000, but only in regards to a theft. God forbid, if you have a huge fire in your home and you had jewelry damaged, then it would be covered up to the full amount of your coverage C limit. Because this limit is so small for jewelry theft, that is why everyone should schedule their expensive jewelry onto their policy, but don’t go thinking that your jewelry isn’t covered at all on the policy.

I thought the appraisal process would be akin to the home appraisal process where the lender wanted their own appraiser doing the assessing. Not so with jewelry. See, with a home appraisal, the lender wants to know the value of the home with respect to the area that its in. They already know the stats (square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.) and they’re just getting them in context, which is a big part of the value of a home. With jewelry, they don’t know anything and they’re just looking for a certified jeweler to record the information because if a loss occurs, they will look to that appraisal document to assess a current value. What the jeweler appraises the jewelry for is unimportant, except to determine a ceiling really.

Another interesting note for those of you who are recently engaged and thinking about getting insurance, I was able to get the jewelry rider on my homeowners because my fiancée lives at the same address as I do. If she didn’t, it’s technically her property and she would have to get a rider on her policy (if she had one) or she would have to have to get personal property insurance and get it linked to my account.

I found out that you can get insurance without having the jewelry appraised but you can’t file a claim without the appraisal documents. So, this weekend we plan on finding a jeweler to do the appraisal, which will cost something around $50 or so I imagine (I’ve done no research on this except read this little post [3]), and then we’ll get ourselves that rider.

Diamonds better be forever. 🙂