Does Renters Insurance Cover Jewelry?

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If you’re renting an apartment or townhouse, renters insurance (HO-4) will cover your personal property. The main purpose of renters insurance is to cover the tenant’s personal belongings. Yes, this includes your jewelry. Other personal property includes clothes, furniture, appliances, and more. Each renters insurance policy includes a clause for personal property that means if your property is stolen or damaged due to a covered peril, you will be reimbursed for the value of the property. This guide will focus on jewelry specifically, including wedding rings that can be stolen or damaged on the rental property. We’ll cover the basic policy limits and how you can raise them with your insurance property.

Does renters insurance cover jewelry? Yes, renters insurance covers jewelry (including engagement rings) but only if they’re stolen. Jewelry claims are limited to one peril on renters insurance and that peril is theft. If you want to expand the perils on jewelry, you have to purchase a separate rider. The coverage limit for each piece of jewelry is $1,000-1,500. If your wedding ring or golden necklace is worth more than $1,500, you’ll have to schedule it independently and this will raise your premium. Alternatively, consider jewelry coverage insurance independent of your renters insurance.

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Renters Insurance Treats Jewelry Differently

Jewelry coverage on renters insurance policies is different than other home insurance. Jewelry pieces such as golden/silver necklaces, wedding rings, and others have special claim rules. While personal property like laptops or fridges will be covered by named perils such as fire or hurricanes, jewelry is limited to theft. The insurance company will only reimburse you for your jewelry if it was stolen in the apartment. If the jewelry was stolen outside the apartment, you’re only entitled to 10% of the market value.

Renters insurance tends to have 16 named perils upon which tenants can file claims if their belongings were damaged. This includes natural disasters such as fires, hurricanes, hail storms, the weight of snow. Even perils such as vandalism are covered. If your personal belongings were damaged by any of the named perils listed on your policy, you can easily claim damages. However, there are exclusions and limitations. Insurance companies pay a maximum of $1,500 per item unless you specifically raise the limit on a particular item. This is a good idea for expensive jewelry like diamond engagement rings.

The only covered peril for jewelry on renters insurance (HO-4) is theft – unless you specifically modify the perils. 

There are exclusions for jewelry on renters insurance policies because jewelry can get very expensive. Insurance companies treat it differently from all other personal property and unless you specifically expand the perils or insure a particular jewelry piece, you won’t be covered. It’s possible to purchase a rider that can modify your HO-4 renters policy to expand the peril coverage on all jewelry items in your household. This is recommended for people who have jewelry pieces under $1,500 and want to insure them simultaneously.

Claim Limits For Jewelry On Renters Insurance

If you modify your policy and expand your peril coverage to jewelry, you still have total limits on the claims you can make. These are called “liability limits” and they represent the maximum coverage amount available to you. Most personal property has a liability limit between $20,000-100,000 and in rare cases, it goes up to $200,000. This is the total combined amount you’re entitled to if all items in your rental property are stolen or damaged by a named peril.

Individual sub-categories of items have their own liability sub-limits. This is why you must pay attention to the sub-limits on jewelry under your rental policy. All high-value items such as firearms, jewelry, arts, and cash, are subject to categorial sub-limits. For cash, the sub-limit is usually $200 unless you increase it. For jewelry that sub-limit can be $3,000. You can raise the sub-limits on property individually by consulting your insurance agent. Similar to covered peril expansion, it’s also possible to expand your sub-limits on all jewelry claims. The higher the limit, the higher your premiums are going to be.

How To Increase Jewelry Coverage On HO-4 Insurance

To increase the jewelry coverage on renters insurance (HO-4) policies, you need to schedule individual jewelry pieces. The process of “scheduling” in insurance means that you’re purchasing a certain rider or an endorsement that enhances the coverage on a particular piece of jewelry. Example: You can schedule a $10,000 wedding ring and this will insure it for the full value.

The insurance company will require individual scheduling for different high-value items. This means that if you have expensive jewelry, they’ll make you insure these pieces under individual schedules. If you have one rider for a diamond ring and another rider for a golden necklace, you’ll have to purchase individual riders for each. Different insurance companies have their own approaches to this and some may allow you to purchase a blanket jewelry rider to increase the total limit and cover you for the full value of each item.

Note: The insurance company uses an ACV (actual cash value) policy for jewelry claims. This is actually a good thing because most precious metals like gold appreciate over the long term and you will get paid according to today’s market value instead of the time you originally bought the jewelry piece.

Jewelry Theft Outside The Rental Apartment/House

If your jewelry is stolen outside the apartment, you are still covered under personal property. Personal property coverage on renters insurance extends to every part of the world unless a certain item is excluded from the policy. The only difference is that jewelry stolen outside the rental property is only eligible for 10% in claims. This means that if you have a property limit of $20,000, you can only claim up to $2,000 off-premise.

Is It Worth It To Expand The Perils?

While it’s possible to increase the perils, it is highly unlikely that your jewelry will be damaged by fires or water leaks more than it is to be stolen. This depends on the property and where you live. For instance, people renting a secure apartment are at lesser risk of a fire/flood accident than people who rent a waterfront house. Calculate the risk based on your individual situation. Sometimes the money is better spent increasing the individual coverage on your jewelry rather than modifying the perils.

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