A typical home insurance policy limits the dollar amount the insurance company will pay for jewelry and valuable items usually up to a per item and per claim limit. Whether or not your jewelry is more valuable than the limit on your home policy, you may choose to insure your valuables for their full value. It's peace of mind and often, broader coverage.
Documenting The Jewelry's Value
If the jewelry has just been purchased, a store receipt or certificate should establish the insured value. However, as time passes or circumstances change, the insured value must be reevaluated, perhaps by seeking an appraisal (expert opinion).
Getting an appraisal that affirms your jewelry's current value is an excellent way to assure that your property is properly protected. Of course, make sure that you work with a competent appraiser (check their credentials and number of years of experience). It is also helpful to talk to a potential appraiser.
- Does the appraiser seem to have the necessary expertise?
- How willing and able is the appraiser to explain their work?
There are several professional jewelry and appraisal associations that can give you information on appraisers and appraising methods. All of these items are important, especially since you have to pay a fee for an appraiser's services.
Handle With Care
Once you're certain about the value of your jewelry and the adequacy of its insurance coverage, you need to properly handle your jewelry. After all, who wants to actually file a claim? If you own a significant amount of expensive jewelry you may want to look into other precautions such as:
- Get new appraisals every two or three years, sending a copy to us or your insurance company
- Take photos of your jewelry from several angles; again, share copies with us or your insurance company
- Consider a quality in-home security system, including a hidden vault or storage area
- Take care on where and when your jewelry is worn to try to avoid becoming a theft target
- Keep original receipts and all appraisals, especially if they demonstrate that the jewelry's value is appreciating
- Ask your jeweler whether they have access to "Gemprint," or a similar jewelry identification system that documents a jewel's distinctive markings much in the manner of fingerprinting.
- Consider storing jewelry that is rarely worn in a bank or saving institution's vault. (Note that such special storage often qualifies for an insurance premium discount)
Again, your first step is to talk to a Towne Insurance professional since we share your concern that you have the protection you need at a price you can afford.