Will My Homeowner's Policy Cover My Jewelry?

Written by
May 26th, 2010

Most homeowners policies limit coverage for personal valuables, and you could fall far short of replacement value if your item is lost or stolen. You need to add a low-cost insurance rider to protect jewelry and other valuables.

Homeowners insurance generally covers your possessions up to 50% of your total coverage. So if you have a $300,000 policy, your home furnishings and equipment are insured for as much as $150,000.

But most policies also place limits on specific kinds of items — promising to pay a maximum of, say, $1,500 to $2,500 for all of your jewelry in the event of damage or theft. Other categories that usually have reimbursement limits include silver flatware, firearms, coins, stamps and furs. (Read the “contents and additional coverage” section of your policy for the details.) Accidental loss is generally not covered if the item is not scheduled.

To raise your coverage limit and ensure that you’re protected in case of loss as well as theft you will need to ad a rider or “schedule” the item. (You may need a written appraisal, although a detailed receipt may suffice.) Once you set a value and schedule the item, you’re covered for the full amount if it is lost, stolen or destroyed.  Scheduling your jewelry, collectibles and fine art will make the claims experience a lot easier.  Plus, there’s no deductible for scheduled items. So if you loose your engagement ring without having it “scheduled”, you’re out of luck.

Extra coverage is inexpensive. Averages are around 85 cents per $100 of coverage for jewelry kept at home and 35 cents per $100 for items kept in a vault. (Actual prices vary by company and geographical location.) Revisit your coverage levels frequently. We recommend that if you do schedule items on your policy, that you periodically get them reappraised to ensure a proper and up to date value.  Plus, scheduled items such as jewelry can be checked for loose settings, etc. at the time the item is reappraised.

Here’s some help on finding an appraiser:
National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA)

How to Choose a Professional Jewelry Appraiser

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