The most easily misplaced, damaged or stolen valuable many individuals own is jewellery. The tragedy of such losses is far greater for people with either no insurance, the wrong type of insurance or insurance inadequate to cover replacement costs.
Many home owners wrongfully assume their homeowner’s insurance covers their valuables. Many such policies specifically exclude jewellery and those that include jewellery coverage often exclude damage or accidental loss. Most home owner policies do not have travel clauses and are woefully lacking in the amount of coverage necessary to cover the full replacement cost.
Consider a special rider on homeowner’s insurance to cover even items such an inexpensive diamond wedding ring or watch. An item which may have been inexpensive when purchased could have tripled in value so insurance for replacement costs and update the policy every year to keep current with increases in value.
Be aware that homeowners insurance may have a low total amount for jewellery coverage. In the event of thievery or accidental loss all jewellery could be stolen, damaged or lost so a policy is needed which covers replacement costs of every piece of jewellery owned by every member of a family or establishment. Even a special jewellery rider on a homeowner’s insurance policy may only cover jewellery stolen from the home if there is evidence of a forced entry. It may not cover accidental loss at all.
Insuring with an agency specializing in jewellery insurance may be the safest way to recoup losses should an expensive piece of jewellery go missing or become damaged. Such insurers cover every type of loss. A jewellery insurance policy covers repair or full replacement cost of every insured piece, regardless of how when or where it was lost or stolen or how much it has increased in value.
Most jewellery insurers allow the insured to choose a reputable jeweller of their choice for repairs or replacement pieces. And, unlike homeowner’s insurance policies, jewellery insurers seldom require the insured get estimates for a low bid which might result in a repair or replacement of inferior quality.
Prior to insuring, fine jewellery, cherished antique jewellery, timepieces and all items made of precious metals or set with valuable stones should be appraised by a certified jeweller. High quality jewellery can also be marked inconspicuously for identification purposes.
In addition to an appraisal, which may include a photograph, the jewellery owner should have all insured pieces photographed, both individually and as a group. This type of photography can be done by an amateur photographer equipped with a digital camera with a zoom lens and good lighting. Such photographs and the professional jeweller’s appraisals should be securely stored in separate vaults or storage areas.
Getting appraisals, photographing every piece of jewellery and obtaining insurance for jewellery and valuables are not only wise financial decisions; they contribute to the jewellery owner’s peace of mind.