Whether for a special occasion, or just because, you’ve found the perfect gift: an exquisite piece of jewelry. Maybe it’s a precious-stone necklace or a fine watch, but is it covered by your home insurance policy? What happens if it’s lost, stolen, or damaged in a storm or a fire?
To understand your jewelry coverage, it’s useful to understand how personal property coverage works on your home insurance policy. Personal property is the insurance term used to describe your belongings, meaning physical things you own that aren’t physically attached to your home (and that aren’t vehicles, which require separate coverage).
The personal property coverage on your homeowners’ insurance policy is guided by a maximum coverage limit that applies to all your belongings in aggregate, but your homeowners’ insurance policy also has sub-limits that cap the coverage available for certain types of items.
For example, it’s common to find separate coverage limits for computers or electronics, musical instruments, collectibles or coins, furs, and yes — you guessed it, jewelry as well. Let’s say your home insurance policy provides coverage for personal property with a limit of up to $150,000. What you’ll find is that the limit for certain categories of valuables is much lower, generally under $10,000 — but coverage amounts can vary from one insurer to the next.
What this means is that your jewelry may only be partially covered and that if you own a lot of jewelry, the jewelry coverage on your homeowners’ insurance policy may be well below the value of your jewelry in total.
There’s a solution, however. Your jewelry and other valuables can be insured to their full value in one of two ways.
1. Scheduled coverage: With most home insurance policies you’ll have the option to fully insure your jewelry or other valuables by adding the valuable items to your policy specifically and for a fixed insured value. In this case, an appraisal is usually required, which describes the item in detail, including its value.
2. Jewelry insurance policy: While perhaps less convenient than adding your valuables to your home insurance policy as scheduled items, you also have the option of purchasing a dedicated insurance policy specifically to cover your jewelry. Again, an appraisal will be required to verify the characteristics of the insured jewelry and to state its appraised value. In some cases, a dedicated jewelry insurance policy also provides some additional coverages not commonly found with a standard home insurance policy.
Most of the risks to your jewelry or other valuables can be covered but the first step is to have a conversation with your broker to learn your options and review your coverage for other potential gaps.
When was the last time you reviewed your insurance policy? Valuables can be damaged at any time. Just reach out to schedule an insurance review and be certain you’re covered.