Protecting the Sentiments

Once a woman gets engaged, and married, they have one thing which (in most cases) automatically pushes them over the threshold.  The insurance threshold, that is - their engagement/wedding set.  And if you are a novice or beginning jewelry collector then, chances are, you have also collected the minimum ($1,500) in jewelry or gemstones to warrant a revisit to your insurance agent.

My hubby let me design my own wedding set.  It's comprised of three bands of platinum & pave diamonds.

I, unfortunately, had to learn this lesson the hard way about the importance of insurance riders.  The day after my hubby and I got married, someone broke into our house and stole almost my complete collection of jewelry and loose gemstones.  Monetarily it was a good size loss, but the worst was yet to come.

It was devastating!  Some of the pieces weren't even that valuable monetarily but in terms of sentiment; they were priceless.  My great-grandmother's pearls; the first necklace my hubby ever gave me when we first started dating; my high school class ring and more. 

Not all jewelry has to be expensive to warrant protection.  Although the sentimentality cannot be replaced, insuring a piece allows you  to get reimbursed, if the piece is ever stolen or lost, to purchase another piece which may also remind you of the person who gave you the original.  

The worst part was when it came time to contact the insurance company.  We had never really added all my jewelry or gemstones onto our homeowner's insurance policy.  The result of this oversight was devastating.  Our insurance only reimbursed us up to their limit on jewelry - which was substantially less than the value of what was actually taken.  Most homeowner's insurance policies place a cap on jewelry somewhere between $1,500 -  $2,500 unless you have a rider added to your policy.

Vintage class ring from the Art Deco period.

So...In planning for the protection of your collection, what do you need to know?  Although this list doesn't cover it all, it should give you a starting point.  As always, you should contact your insurance agent for specifics related to your specific circumstances. 

  • Typically, homeowner’s (and renter’s) insurance policies only cover any one item with a $1,500 limit and a total limit of loss of $2,500 unless you have a jewelry rider and then it is still subject to your jewelry rider deductible;
  • Watches, gems and furs are covered under policy limits, the same as jewelry;
  • When purchasing estate jewelry or gems, always obtain full appraisal (I recommend using a jeweler who specializes in vintage or antique pieces) of the item and submit to your insurance company in order to add the piece on to your jewelry rider;
  • Discuss all new additions with your insurance agent to guarantee proper coverage in the event of a total loss;
  • Be sure to review your policy (and rider) with your agent annually to ensure that all your coverage needs are met.

A special thanks to Kristin Scholl from American Family Insurance for providing the information included in this post. 

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