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Jewelry is likely among the most valuable items you own — and it's fragile and easily stolen, too. Unfortunately, that means it's often covered in a more limited way than regular personal property. This article will explain when and how your jewelry is covered and help you decide how to keep your valuables safe.
How much does a home insurance policy cover?
While your homeowners insurance might provide you with, for example, $400,000 of coverage, you can't simply apply all of that to your jewelry. Most policies provide personal property coverage of around 50% of the total insurance coverage. Jewelry, though, is considered high-value property that can be easily lost or stolen, so coverage for it is usually specified in your policy — often between $1,000 and $2,000.
How Do You Increase Coverage for Your Jewelry?
If your jewelry is worth more than what's set forth in a typical homeowners insurance policy, you can purchase an additional endorsement or floater. Also known as scheduled personal property coverage, it is a way to raise the coverage limits of specific high-value items, such as valuable family heirlooms, that you own. Premiums for floaters are dependent on the types of items you've added, how much the items are worth, and the area in which you reside. Unlike with personal property coverage provided by your homeowners insurance however, there's no associated deductible for items covered by a floater.
An added benefit of a floater is the additional protection some offer you. Some floaters cover you for situations in which you lose a ring or leave it behind on vacation. Personal property coverage under your home insurance policy would not cover you in that case since it's not a listed peril. When scheduling the items you wish to raise coverage limits for, your insurer will likely require you to have the items appraised, unless they were recently purchased and you have receipts available.
When should you get a separate policy for your jewelry?
Jewelry protection insurance is a separate insurance policy meant especially for insuring jewelry. Like scheduling your jewelry with a floater, jewelry protection insurance covers your jewelry beyond common insurance perils. Unlike a floater, though, claims made against a jewelry protection insurance policy aren't counted as a claim against your homeowners insurance. A quick comparison between a standard homeowners insurance policy, a floater and jewelry protection insurance can be seen in the table below:
Type of Coverage
|Homeowners insurance||Listed perils only||Capped, usually between $1,000 and $2,000||Homeowners insurance deductible||No additional premium|
|Floater||Listed perils, plus accidents, maybe other risks||Appraised value||No deductible||Premium based on value, items covered, and area of residence|
|Jewelry protection insurance||All events, accidents, and unintentional damage||Appraised value||May have a deductible||Premium based on value, items covered, and area of residence|
Jewelry protection insurance is a particularly viable option when you want to insure high-value or at-risk jewelry such as a multi-carat diamond ring. As an added bonus, where claims made against home insurance or an additional floater impact your premium and future insurability, jewelry protection insurance is its own separate policy and insulates your home insurance from any claims. The premiums for most jewelry insurance policies are between 1% to 2% of the total insured value, meaning $10,000 of coverage might cost only $100 a year.
When is jewelry covered by homeowners insurance?
When jewelry is lost or damaged because of a "listed peril" such as theft or fire, it is covered by your homeowners insurance. If, for example, your home is burglarized while you're away on vacation and thieves manage to steal a necklace that has been in your family for generations, your policy will cover part of its value — up to a maximum limit defined by your specific policy.
Common insurance perils
- Lightning or fire
- Hail or windstorm
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Riots or civil disturbances
- Smoke damage
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Falling objects
- Volcanic eruption
- Damage from the weight of snow, ice, or sleet
- Water damage from plumbing, heating, or air conditioning overflow
- Water heater cracking, tearing, and burning
- Damage from electrical current
- Pipe freezing
Your jewelry is likely not covered by homeowners insurance when the loss or damage is a result of something not listed above. For instance, if your ring slips off your finger and falls down the drain while you're cleaning, it won't be covered by your insurance policy because the loss isn't the result of something explicitly listed in your policy. Likewise, misplacing a piece of jewelry or damaging it somehow - even by accident - won't be covered by your homeowners insurance. As well, if jewelry is lost or damaged in a flood, you will need a separate flood insurance policy since your homeowners policy will not cover any damage associated with a natural flood.
Best jewelry insurance companies
Many homeowners insurance companies offer their policyholders the ability to increase their coverage limit on jewelry by adding an endorsement. Additionally, some companies allow customers to increase their coverage limit without adding an endorsement, albeit the coverage limit will be lower. Homeowners should evaluate what type of coverage is best for their needs. Below, we highlight some of the best insurance companies for jewelry coverage.
Lemonade provides its policyholders an exceptionally high coverage limit of $50,000 for jewelry through its extra coverage endorsement. Other insurance companies that have similar endorsements don't typically provide such a high coverage limit. The endorsement is great whether you're looking to insure a single expensive item or a collection of jewelry.
Progressive offers its homeowners policyholders the option to add jewelry coverage under a scheduled personal property endorsement or under a separate policy. The endorsement doesn't charge a deductible before coverage kicks in. However, if you're satisfied with your current homeowners insurance company, Progressive also offers jewelry insurance as a stand-alone policy with a deductible. Typically, Progressive charges 1% to 2% of the total value of your jewelry for one year of coverage.
State Farm is a great choice for those who feel they need jewelry insurance but don't require a high coverage limit. Coverage limits for jewelry under State Farm's standard homeowners insurance policies start at $2,500. However, based on our sample quotes, it would only cost you an additional $17 per year to increase your coverage limit to $5,000.
How to file a claim for lost or damaged jewelry
If your jewelry is stolen, you should first contact the police to report the theft. Be sure to provide as much information as possible about the stolen jewelry and request a copy of the police report in the event your insurer asks for it. If there is a situation where your jewelry is damaged from a source covered by whichever type of policy you own, take pictures of the damaged pieces and the source of the damage.
The next step is to contact your home insurance provider. If you have separate jewelry protection insurance, you'll need to contact the insurer of the jewelry insurance policy and not your home insurance company. When you contact your insurer, you will have to give details as to what happened to your jewelry. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you may have to pay a deductible before beginning the replacement or repair process.
Your insurer may require you to use a jeweler or repair and replacement company of their choice. With a jewelry protection insurance policy, your insurer would permit you to have repair or replacement work done at a jeweler of your choice and would provide you with the same kind and quality of jewelry as the missing or damaged piece. The covered amount of your jewelry with jewelry protection insurance is the appraised value of the piece after you pay your deductible, if your policy has one.