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When it comes to jewelry, especially more expensive jewelry, a fairly common concern many of our customers have is how to get it insured. Considering that many people use insurance agents to handle their various types of insurance, it makes sense to ask us, or other jewelers, what’s involved with keeping jewelry safe and insured.
Fortunately, insuring jewelry is easier than you think. There are some things you may need to know ahead of time, but for many, insuring jewelry is an easier task than getting home, car, or health insurance. Let’s discuss what’s necessary, what’s needed, and how you can insure your jewelry.
Here’s some great news: Many people already have their jewelry insured and they don’t even know it.
If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, many of those policies cover personal property up to a certain amount. If you have either type of policy, take a look at it to see what it covers. Typically, an insurance policy will say it covers a maximum amount for “personal property,” which includes items such as jewelry, electronics, and furniture. But there will be a limit on the value for a single item. For example, a policy might say, “You have coverage for $30,000 in personal property, with no single item valued over $5,000.” In this sort of “blanket” coverage, you usually don’t need to list all your personal property.
If you’re covered under homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, there are some things you should investigate. If you can, ask your insurance agent, call your insurance company, or check your policy for things like:
It is better to have this information ahead of time, rather than after the item is gone or damaged.
The best way to have the documentation needed for filing a claim or dealing with insurance is to have an appraisal for anything valuable. Jewelry is no different. You’ll need to have your jewelry appraised by a professional. If your jewelry is lost or stolen, a jewelry appraisal will provide essential details and help replace your cherished pieces should a loss occur. Although jewelry appraiser certifications are not required by law, it’s in your best interest to have them. Certified gemologists know the attributes that make a piece valuable. They also understand current trends and how those trends affect the value of your jewelry. At Braunschweiger Jewelers, we have GIA- and AGS-trained appraisers to make sure the items that you cherish are expertly valued and documented.
While a professional will appraise your jewelry, you’ll need to know what kind of stones are in the jewelry, including their weight and quality. If you have a diamond, a certification comes in handy. It is challenging to get the exact measurements of a stone when it is set, but a diamond certification ensures that the specifications are 100% accurate. You’ll also need to know the metal weight, and a description of what your jewelry looks like with measurements. Taking a few pictures would be very helpful here, but before you request this make sure your insurance company needs it. Adding photos often makes your appraisal more expensive and is rarely necessary.
If you’re wondering how to get the appraisal process started, it’s fairly simple. Many reputable jewelry stores have someone on staff who can do jewelry appraisals. A lot of professional and technical expertise, as well as experience, go into a jewelry appraisal, so there’s usually a fee to do this. Most jewelers will charge you on a per-piece basis, and they should be able to give you pricing details or, at the very least, an estimate ahead of time. Typically, an appraisal could run around $150 or more.
Bear in mind that if you have a lot of items or if your piece’s design is complicated, you may have to leave the items at the store to be appraised.
Usually, there are two reasons you would look into getting a specific policy for your jewelry.
One reason is that you don’t have a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. The other is if you have a piece of jewelry that is more valuable than is covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
One of the most reputable insurance companies dealing specifically with jewelry insurance is Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. They specialize in insurance for both the jewelry industry and for individuals. They offer free quotes to insure your items, and a recent detailed appraisal done by a qualified appraiser will be required. If you give them a call or email, your best bet is to ask exactly what kind of documentation they will need from you.
Insurance varies depending on each policy and company, but in general expect to pay $1 to $2 for every $100 that it would cost to replace your jewelry.
For example, if your ring would cost $8,000 to replace, you might expect to pay approximately $80 to $160 per year to insure it. Additionally, jewelry insurance varies based on location. For example, if you’re in a big city like New York or Jersey City, where the risk of theft is higher than in the suburbs, the rate of insurance is also higher.
Having your jewelry insured isn’t too complicated. Yes, it may require some research, calls, and documentation from you, but the piece of mind of knowing that your valuables can be replaced if something happened to them is worth it.
If you are unsure whether you should bother to insure something, ask yourself a) if you have the money to replace that particular piece of jewelry, and b) if you would want to replace it. If you don’t have the money to replace it and would want to, then insurance is a good idea. However, if there is no way you could ever replace your grandfather’s pocket watch or your favorite aunt’s cameo brooch, then maybe you don’t need to insure those items since there is no price you can put on the sentimental value.
To learn more about jewelry insurance or to get your jewelry appraised, feel free to visit either of our New Jersey jewelry store locations in Morristown or New Providence to see for yourself and talk to any of our expert jewelers.
If you’d like to talk to someone directly about repairs, you can contact us online anytime by emailing us directly at email@example.com or by simply filling out our contact form. We’ll answer your questions quickly.