When love is in the air, couples get the urge to pledge their love. This usually involves commitment and large sums of cash (in the form of jewelry). Love and insurance don't necessarily go hand in hand (unless you're an insurance agent), so it may not surprise you that many people forget to think about properly insuring their newly purchased jewelry. This can be a scary thought - especially for someone who may have just spent as much on a ring as he or she might on a new car. If you're going to pop the question (or make any other jewelry purchase), make sure you pop open your insurance policy to verify you're covered correctly.
Most people automatically think that their homeowners policy will cover their jewelry, but did you know that there are many possible types of claims that would not be covered? These can include:
- Mysterious disappearance (like accidentally throwing away a ring)
- Stones disappear from settings
- Weight of people or animals (like someone stepping on an item)
- Non-malicious acts of children (think of kids flushing that necklace down the toilet)
- Spillage (think of paint or chemical spills)
- Animals (think of a dog chewing or eating items)
- Dropping items (think of dropping an item and chipping or cracking a stone)
- Damage from fighting (let's not think about this one)
- Dropping a ring down the disposal (this is more common than you might think)
A standard homeowners policy (including renters or condo insurance) normally does provide some jewelry coverage for perils such as fire and lightning but none of the above listed perils. The jewelry is covered up to the limit of Personal Property (Contents) coverage listed on the policy. The problem with jewelry is that the most common claims are from disappearance or theft. The homeowners policy does not cover disappearance and limits theft of jewelry to a paltry $1000 total. This means that regardless of how many pieces you have stolen and the value of those items, the maximum amount the policy would pay is $1000. Some policies do allow you to increase this theft coverage total, but it may still not be enough.
So what are the options to get the right coverage? You can schedule your items onto your homeowners policy as an extra endorsement or you can purchase a separate policy specifically for items like jewelry. Either way gives you about the same coverage and may be about the same price.
When you schedule items onto your homeowners policy or purchase a separate scheduled policy, those items are covered for a specific value (usually the appraised value of each item). The items are covered for almost any peril and the amount of your claim is basically guaranteed because the item was covered for a specific value to begin with. You won't have to argue with an adjuster to convince him or her of the value of the item.
Check with your agent to discuss your specific policy and what coverage you have. Once you determine what you need for proper coverage, feel free to let those feelings of love and commitment take over and pop the question!