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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Lost Jewelry?

📸 by Cornelia Ng. Find her here: unsplash.com/@corneliang

Jewelry is an extremely valuable property and it’s easily damaged and stolen. Homeowners insurance can provide a degree of protection for jewelry, but it’s essentially treated as any other property unless you individually insure it. This guide will cover how you can secure your jewelry at full replacement value to keep your bracelets, necklaces, rings, and watches safe. Jewelry is often lost when we’re traveling or cleaning around the house. If you can’t find your jewelry, or you suspect it was stolen, this guide will show you how you can make sure your jewelry is protected. The way the company calculates how much they owe you can make a difference too.

Does homeowners insurance cover lost jewelry? Yes, lost jewelry is covered under homeowners insurance but only if you scheduled it with the insurance company. For instance, if you have a $10,000 engagement ring, and the limit on your contents coverage is $1,000 per item, you must schedule this ring individually. When the ring is scheduled with the insurance company, you’re covered for the full replacement value. There is also special jewelry insurance that you can purchase independent of your homeowners policy. This is recommended if you have a large jewelry collection.

Jewelry Coverage

Homeowners insurance and renters insurance treat jewelry like any other personal item. Many people wrongly assume that only because they have $300,000 on their personal property coverage, they’ll automatically be covered by insurance. While you’re protected for your clothes, furniture, appliances, and electronics, you’ll also be covered for jewelry under the same terms. The problem is that jewelry is a lot more valuable than other items, especially if it’s gold or diamonds. 

If your jewelry is destroyed by one of the 16 named perils on a homeowners policy, you’ll be covered up to the policy limit. The personal property policy limit is 50% of your main coverage, but there are also $1,000 limits per item on most homeowners insurance plans.

Jewelry is considered a high-value item and will not be covered unless it’s valued at less than $1,000 apiece. Other high-value items that won’t be covered include artwork, weapons, cash, designer clothes, and any item that costs thousands of dollars. Even if these items are damaged by a covered peril, you won’t be reimbursed for the full value. The only way to get around that is to schedule these possessions individually.

Example: Let’s say your jewelry limit is $3,000 and your per-item limit is $1,000. If you have 3 bracelets and each one is worth $1,500, you’ll be covered for 2 of them by your default policy. You won’t be covered for the third one. Moreover, you’ll have to pay a deductible before your insurance company reimburses you. This means that if you want to claim $3,000 worth of jewelry, and your insurance deductible is $1,000, the insurance company will only pay you $2,000. This deductible is paid out of pocket every time you file a claim.

How To Increase Jewelry Coverage

The only option to cover your most valuable items is to individually insure them. If your jewelry is worth more than the sub-limits on the jewelry category, you have to schedule the jewelry. Every insurance company will let you purchase an endorsement or a floater. This is called “scheduled property” and you can technically schedule every valuable piece in your household. This process takes a while because each item will have to be individually appraised by the insurer. If you’re approved, your premiums will rise as a result but you’ll be covered for those individual pieces.

The same option is available for all other valuables in your home. For instance, you might have a $5,000 watch or a $10,000 rifle. Most insurance companies require individual appraisal and scheduling. In rare cases, you may be able to raise the limits on a set number of items that belong to you. This is called blanket coverage in insurance terms. It allows you to raise the individual limits on sub-categories. For instance, if your jewelry limit is $10,000 total and $1,500 per item, you can raise it to $20,000 total and $3,000 per item. This process won’t require appraisals. 

We recommend raising the limits individually by using scheduling because it’s going to cover you for more situations. If your jewelry is lost while you’re cleaning at home or traveling abroad, you’ll be covered with individual scheduling. This is why it’s important to schedule valuables like diamond rings and expensive watches.

Jewelry Protection Insurance: For Collections

“Jewelry protection insurance” is a completely different insurance policy to homeowners insurance, but you should be able to purchase it from your insurer. We recommend this to all homeowners who have a large jewelry and watch collection because it shows you truly care about your jewelry and you’re taking out a specific policy. The main benefit is that it’s going to be easier to file claims for your jewelry and you also get extra coverage compared to increasing the blanket coverage on your personal property (for homeowners policies).

If your jewelry is lost, damaged, or stolen it will be covered by jewelry protection insurance.

This insurance policy can also keep your premiums stable if you ever have to make a claim because it’s not tied to your homeowners insurance. The average homeowners insurance policy will raise your premium by as much as 10% when you make a claim. Moreover, jewelry protection insurance can prove cheaper than scheduling on your property insurance. For example, at an average rate of 1% for jewelry protection, you’ll effectively be paying $1,000/year to insure $100,000 worth of jewelry. This is a great deal for everyone in possession of a large and valuable jewelry collection.

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