It is such a shame when people invest a lot of money in custom jewellery only to lose that investment due to fire, theft, misplacement or some other unfortunate circumstance. What makes it even worse is the fact that pieces like custom engagement rings and wedding bands are very personal. It might not be possible to replace the sentimental value of a lost or stolen piece, but the piece itself can at least be replaced with a new one under one condition: you have the money. This is why we recommend insuring jewellery if it is worth more than a few hundred dollars.
Inexpensive jewellery pieces are often covered under homeowners’ or renters’ insurance. If you don’t have either one, you really should get a policy anyway. As for more expensive jewellery, that’s a different story. It is best for the consumer to contact his or her insurance company to find out what kind of coverage is available.
Rider or Separate Policy
Let’s say a customer purchased a $5000 custom engagement ring from us and then called her insurance company to find out if her homeowners’ policy covered it. She finds out it’s not. She now has one of two choices. First, she can purchase an additional rider that gets attached to her existing homeowners’ insurance. Her second option is to buy an entirely separate policy through her insurance company or a specialist insurer.
Riders attached to existing homeowners or renters’ insurance are usually less expensive than separate policies. But one must be careful with these riders. They may come with restrictions and limits on a replacement. Separate policies cost more but tend to be more flexible as well. You can get just about anything you want with a specialist policy if you are willing to pay for it.
What You’ll Need to Get Insurance
You will need three primary things before you can insure your jewellery. First is the original receipt that came with your purchase. If your jewellery were a gift, you would need to request a receipt from the person who gave it to you. Heirloom jewellery passed down over multiple generations will not have a receipt, so a letter or other form of documentation proving its lineage will suffice.
Second, the jewellery needs to be appraised before it’s insured. Why? Because values change. Hopefully, your jewellery is worth more today than when you purchased it; it should be worth even more a few years down the road. The appraisal value tells the insurance company what it would cost in current dollars to replace the insured piece. You will want a policy with at least that much coverage so you’re not risking a loss.
Lastly, you will need pictures of your jewellery. It is best to take digital pictures that are dated, then have prints made and save both copies. One copy should be kept with the jewellery and another copy in a safe place in another location. This makes it easier to prove you actually possessed the jewellery should you ever need to make a claim.
You can save money on the most expensive pieces by not storing them at home. Assuming you might have a piece worth $10,000 that you only wear on special occasions, you should consider storing it in a safe deposit box at a local bank. This will keep it safe from theft and reduce how much you will have to pay to insure it.
Insuring your low-cost jewellery may not be necessary. But for the costliest pieces, insurance is always a good idea.