Homeowners insurance is a mandatory insurance policy you purchase when you own a home. It covers your new investment – as well as your belongings – in the event of an emergency or peril. These emergencies can include fires, water damage, theft, and more. Many people want to know: does homeowners insurance cover jewelry?
Jewelry is one of the valuable belongings usually covered under a home insurance policy. Many people find homeowners insurance jewelry coverage lacking, as it comes with low caps and deductibles that often don’t cover the more high-value jewelry. You can pursue options for better coverage, both in terms of value and when it comes to unfortunate situations resulting in the loss or damage of your valuables. Whether you have new jewelry to commemorate a special occasion or inherited a priceless family heirloom, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of getting your jewelry insured.
Understanding homeowners insurance
Homeowners insurance typically covers the cost if your home or belongings are damaged or stolen. These damages could be from fire, a burst pipe, smoke, vandalism, falling objects (such as trees), and more. Homeowners insurance may also provide liability coverage, meaning you’re insured if someone is hurt on your property and they sue.
Home insurance has broad coverage designed for a number of major problems that may occur. A broad coverage plan ensures a lot of your belongings are covered should something go wrong. This can include your home, furniture and appliances, any detached structures (depending on the coverage), and even personal liability. This also covers jewelry, but your homeowners insurance jewelry coverage can be a bit more complicated.
With your personal property portion of homeowners insurance, you’re insured to repair or replace up to a specific amount. This ceiling is based on the total amount of furniture you own. For example, if you have $50,000 worth of insured belongings, that’s the maximum you’d be paid to replace them if they were damaged in a fire or flood. Jewelry is valuable and easily stolen, so it’s an exception to this rule. Often, pieces of jewelry have a specific value limit that your insurance will pay out – somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000.
Does homeowners insurance cover jewelry?
The good news is that homeowners insurance generally does cover jewelry, but the extent of this coverage and its limitations. Under standard homeowners insurance, jewelry is covered for events listed in your policy, such as theft, fire, and certain types of water damage. For instance, if a thief were to break into your home and steal your pearls, your homeowners insurance would help to cover the loss. Likewise, if a fire were to damage or destroy your precious items, the policy would apply.
This is where the policy’s limitations become important. The insurance company will only pay up to a certain amount to replace your stolen or damaged jewelry. This limit may be significantly less than the total amount of coverage for all personal property. For example, a policy might limit reimbursement for the loss of jewelry to $1,500, even if your overall personal property limit is $50,000.
Standard homeowners insurance usually won’t cover jewelry loss due to misplacement or accidental damage. If you lose an earring while swimming or damage a necklace while gardening, your policy likely won’t cover the loss. The jewelry is only insured under specific situations, often called emergencies or perils. Accidents and other common losses typically aren’t covered.
The limits of homeowners insurance jewelry coverage
While home insurance does cover jewelry, most people find the coverage highly insufficient. The limit imposed on jewelry is often only a small percentage of the value.
Jewelry is easy to steal, and it’s often quite fragile. This makes it difficult for the average insurance agency to keep jewelry coverage affordable. Beyond the monetary limitation placed on your valuables – capping the payout at somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 – there are also only specific situations in which your jewelry is insured.
If you live in a floodplain and your jewelry is damaged by high water, you likely won’t be covered at all. If your jewelry is damaged by water as a result of a damaged pipe in your home, then it may be covered, but the limit applies. If you own $5,000 worth of jewelry and it’s stolen, you’re typically only paid a total of your jewelry coverage limit – usually about $2,000 maximum (often less). In this instance, to replace your stolen valuables, you’d have to pay $3,000 out of pocket. This personal loss gets bigger the more valuable the jewelry you own.
This situation highlights the potential risk of relying solely on the basic homeowners insurance jewelry coverage provided in standard policies. If you own valuable jewelry or other high-end personal belongings like furs, you’ll likely need more robust insurance for peace of mind.
How to increase your jewelry coverage
For better coverage on your most valuable possessions, consider purchasing an additional add-on for your insurance policy, often called a policy endorsement, rider, or floater. This is “scheduled personal property” coverage. The cost depends on several factors, such as the worth of your valuables and where you live.
This scheduled personal property endorsement (a rider or floater) takes a specific value and insures it separately from your other personal belongings. If you own a $10,000 watch, you’re now insured for that amount. An added benefit to rider coverage is that the watch is covered under more circumstances, such as accidental loss.
To schedule an item, you’ll usually need to provide a recent receipt or appraisal to prove its value. It’s also a good idea to take photos of your jewelry and store them in a safe place. This documentation can be helpful if you ever need to make a claim.
You also have the option to buy a separate insurance policy for your jewelry on its own. This is called jewelry protection insurance, and unlike a rider, it may require you to pay a deductible to make a claim. One benefit to this separate insurance is that if something does happen to your valuables, you don’t have to make a claim against your home insurance to replace them.
Increasing your homeowners insurance jewelry coverage through endorsements can offer peace of mind that your valuable items are fully protected. Does homeowners insurance cover jewelry? If you purchase a rider for it, the answer is yes.
What does jewelry insurance cover?
A separate jewelry insurance policy provides coverage for a wide range of valuable items. This includes engagement rings, wedding rings, earrings, watches, and antique jewelry. In most cases, the policy will cover damage, loss, or theft of these items. However, jewelry insurance may not cover pre-existing damage, wear and tear, intentional damage, or pest damage.
What does jewelry insurance cover?
- Damage: Jewelry insurance will typically cover accidental damage to your valuable pieces. This includes situations where the item is dropped, scratched, or broken.
- Loss: If your jewelry gets lost or goes missing, the insurance policy can provide compensation for the value of the item.
- Theft: Jewelry insurance also offers coverage in the event of theft. If your valuable pieces are stolen, the policy will reimburse you for their value.
Some insurers may offer additional options for coverage, such as protection against mysterious disappearances or coverage for stones falling out of their settings. To ensure you have the right coverage for your jewelry, carefully review the policy details and consider any additional riders or endorsements that may be available.
How Do You Get the Best Jewelry Insurance?
When it comes to ensuring comprehensive insurance coverage for your high-value jewelry, there are several options to consider. Here are three main methods for obtaining the best jewelry insurance:
- Enhance your basic homeowners insurance: One way to increase coverage for your jewelry is by raising the limits on your basic homeowners insurance policy. However, even with higher limits, the coverage may still be insufficient for valuable items.
- Opt for an insurance floater: An insurance floater is a separate policy that provides broader coverage specifically for jewelry that exceeds the limits of your homeowners policy. This option ensures that your high-value pieces are adequately protected.
- Purchase a stand-alone jewelry insurance policy: Another option is to purchase a stand-alone jewelry insurance policy from a specialized insurer. This type of policy offers comprehensive coverage for your precious items and keeps claims separate from your home insurance record.
By exploring these different methods, you can find the best insurance option that suits your needs and provides the necessary coverage for your high-value jewelry.
Does homeowners insurance cover jewelry? It does, but only to a certain limit. If you determine that your jewelry is more valuable than this limit provides for, your next step is to get your pieces appraised. This provides outside documentation that outlines the item’s inherent value. If the worst happens and you need to make a claim, you’ll have all the coverage and information your insurance agent needs.