Jewelry can be some of the most valuable assets a consumer owns, so protecting it seems like a no-brainer. With coverage against scenarios like theft or mysterious disappearance, jewelry insurance can help you keep your valuables safe.
Jewelry insurance is generally purchased as a part of your homeowners insurance or renters insurance. Though a basic amount is usually included as part of these insurance packages, it's often wise to use stand-alone jewelry insurance as additional coverage.
Top 5 Best Rated Jewelry Insurance Companies
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has been providing jewelry insurance to individuals and businesses for over 100 years. Customers can choose their own deductible and work with their own jeweler, rather than a network member.
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Based in Burlingame, CA, Lavalier provides worldwide jewelry insurance cover against loss, damage, theft and mysterious disappearance. Customers can customize their coverage limits and deductibles to fit their needs and budget.
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Perfect Circle Insurance is a subsidiary of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. The licensed company offers worldwide jewelry insurance coverage and allows customers to choose their own jeweler for repairs or replacements.
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Headquartered in Louisville, KY, JIBNA Personal Jewelry Insurance is an underwriting manager for personal jewelry insurers. The company provides agents and their customers with the cover they need at a price they can afford.
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Travelers Valuable Items Coverage provides protection for valuables, such as jewelry and engagement rings. Coverage is available as a separate, standalone policy or as an add-on to an existing homeowner's insurance policy.
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What features matter most?
Accidental damage coverage
Coverage for accidental damage means you don't have to worry if your jewelry breaks. It's a valuable addition to jewelry insurance that only focuses on theft because of the greater likelihood that precious metals or jewels are susceptible to damage over time.
- Broken clasp: Clasps on fine necklaces, bracelets and earrings can be bent or pulled apart accidentally with just a little force.
- Bent prongs: The prongs that hold in diamonds, emeralds and other gemstones are quite thin, making them susceptible to being pulled out of place.
- Loose gemstones: Loose gemstones will wriggle free of their casing in time, which means they should be repaired as soon as you notice the problem.
Coverage for loss
This type of coverage entitles you to recover the value of any lost jewelry that has been insured.
- Pair or set: If one item in an insured set is lost, you receive the value of both.
- Replacement: An accurate appraisal including gem weight, identity, grades and brand - a Tiffany jewel, for example – affects what it will cost an insurer to replace the item of like kind. Replacement value stands in contrast to cash value, or what a buyer would pay a seller in the open market.
- Actual cash value: Receive the actual cash value of the lost item, which may differ slightly from the cost of replacement because of depreciation. Cash value, or the dollar amount a policyholder might expect if the item were sold in the market today, is equal to the replacement cost of the gem minus depreciation due to age, wear and tear.
Coverage for theft
Theft can happen anywhere at any time, so it's important to be prepared. Theft coverage for engagement and wedding jewelry should also be taken into consideration. Because the burden of proof does not rest with the client, an insurer will settle the claim unless investigators uncover evidence of fraud.
- Home invasion: This coverage is for any items stolen as a result of a break-in.
- Robbery: This coverage comes into play if your property is stolen from your car or a location away from home.
- Partial theft: This happens when one or more parts of an insured item or pair are stolen.
Choice of repair jeweler
When it comes time to repair insured jewelry, there are a few ways the insurer can proceed in finding the right professional for the job.
- Client's choice: In this scenario, it's your decision, and you can choose any repair person to fix your jewelry.
- Insurer's choice: In many cases, the insurer is the one to choose the repair professional because they have a relationship with the chosen person already.
- Client's choice from insurer's list: Another common way to decide on a repair professional is for the client to choose from a list the insurer provides.
Coverage for "mysterious disappearance"
It happens to everybody; you lose something but don't know exactly how, when or where it happened. The definition for this type of coverage differs between insurers, but generally adjusters will determine if the piece was lost or misplaced based on simple questions about when the owner last saw the gem, whether anyone else had access to the home and where the jewelry was kept. As with theft, with stand-alone policies insurers will generally take policyholders at their word since the onus does not rest with the policyholder.
- Baffling loss: In this instance, an item is lost under confusing circumstances that don't equate to theft or negligence.
- Disappearance while traveling: This coverage applies when you take a piece of jewelry with you on holiday or a long trip and don't know when or where it was lost.
- Untimed loss: This scenario covers situations where the jewelry was supposedly in a safe place but has disappeared, and you aren't sure of the time frame in which the disappearance occurred.
Jewelry business coverage
This insurance covers your stock if you own a business that deals in jewelry or repairs. It can also provide coverage for theft, loss or damage to jewelry that belongs to your clients while it's in your possession. Jewelry business coverage is useful for these types of enterprises:
- Retail jewelry: These businesses sell new or used jewelry.
- Jewelry repair: Jewelry repair businesses specialize in the care, maintenance and restoration of fine jewelry.
- Pawn shops: These are stores that loan or pay money for valuable items such as jewelry and keep the items as collateral.
Engagement and wedding jewelry coverage
It’s important to insure engagement rings and wedding bands soon after you buy them. These are often the most valuable, and sentimental, pieces of jewelry a person owns, making their loss exceptionally difficult.
- Cost: Expect to pay around $1-$2 per every hundred dollars the ring is worth. So a $9000 ring would cost $90-$180 to insure per year.
- Appraisal: You can find an appraiser through the American Gem Society. Expect to pay $50-$100 for the service.
- Re-appraise it: Your ring is an investment, and so it should increase in value every few years. Have your ring and/or band reappraised every two to three years to make sure it has enough insurance to cover loss, theft or damage.
What are different types of jewelry insurance?
With this kind of insurance, your jewelry is covered no matter where you travel.
Immediate or Automatic coverage
This type of insurance package automatically gives you protection on newly purchased jewelry – often a spur-of-the-moment decision – for a period of time – up to three months – after the purchase.
Choose a list or a “schedule” and detail the replacement cost of each individual item.
Households with many lower-value items but more numerous items may want to insure the aggregate value of the collection.
Coverage with no deductible
If you make a claim on your insurance, you don't have to pay a deductible to receive compensation to repair or replace covered pieces.
Jewelry holds its value, and as commodity prices for gems rise, insurance policies can stipulate annual increases of between five percent and 10 percent in the value of your jewels should they need to be repaired or replaced. One major insurer charges a premium equivalent of $1.20 per $100 of assessed value, so the annual premium on a ring assessed at $9,000 would come to $108.00.
Jewelers Block Insurance
Designed for jewelry stores and other jewelry outlets that carry inventory, jewelers block is designed to cover property that is portable, easily stolen or often transported.
A policy extension, or rider, on your homeowners insurance policy to insure an engagement ring or other jewelry.
Some insurers will offer discounts on policies if the jewels are kept in secure locations like bank vaults.
Loss Settlement Options
If you file a claim, you have options when it comes time to settle the loss. Policies will typically outline several repair, replacement and payment options among which the policyholder must eventually choose one. Options include:1. Repair the jewelry
2. Replace it with “like kind and quality”
3. Pay the actual cash value
4. Pay the amount equal to the “cash equivalent” had the company secured repair or replacement
5. Pay the item’s “scheduled amount,” or the insurer’s maximum limit of liability, the most the insurance company will pay out
Who's it for?
People who don't own a home usually have valuables at their rental property that would cost significant money to replace or repair.
Homeowners pay a mortgage or own their home. Because this is such a large and long-term purchase, homeowners are more likely to keep valuables such as heirlooms, individual jewelry items or a jewelry collection in their home.
Stock certificates and bond coupons aren't the only way to invest for the future. High-end jewelry and precious metals like gold and platinum can also provide you with a financial safety net, and the value may even rise over time.
One of those most important pieces of jewelry in any couples' collection is the engagement ring. An expensive and sentimental piece, this can warrant its own insurance policy.
Movie stars and celebrities often borrow expensive jewels to complement their red carpet attire or evening wear. The replacement value of these valuables often runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Jewelry dealers or fine art collectors – well-known and anonymous – who prefer to show their collections only to friends or family may want to cover their unique collections.
Museums or royal family gems on public display – the British Crown Jewels or the Fabergé Imperial Eggs, for example – require special insurance coverage.
People in the business of selling, repairing or transporting jewelry.
What does the expert have to say?
The Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company protects individuals as well as businesses from jewelry damage, theft or loss. The company has been in operation for more than 100 years.
- Best for Jewelers Mutual Insurance is best for businesses that deal in jewelry sale or repair and homeowners.
Perfect Circle Jewelry Insurance is a product of the Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. It is an award-winning, comprehensive insurance product for businesses and homeowners.
- Choose your deductible: Choose the amount you are willing to pay upon making a claim, and Perfect Circle adapts to your needs.
- Paperless bill delivery: Select a paperless account, and all your payment information is made available online.
- Jewelry Box newsletter: Subscribe to the Jewelry Box and receive regular newsletters full of tips about the jewelry industry and how to care for your precious pieces.
- Worldwide coverage: Perfect Circle offers international coverage for jewelry that is lost, stolen, damaged or has mysteriously disappeared.
- Personal jeweler: When you make a claim, Perfect Circle lets you choose your own jeweler to repair or replace your pieces.
- Best for Perfect Circle Insurance is best for businesses, engaged couples, homeowners and renters that need coverage on personal or commercial products.
Lavalier operates out of Burlingame, California. The company partners with Markel American Insurance Company as its underwriter and specializes in jewelry insurance only. Lavalier publishes a blog dedicated to new jewelry trends, gift ideas and choosing jewelry.
- Best for Lavalier is best for homeowners and renters who need coverage for a few special pieces of jewelry, It's also great for engaged couples who will enjoy 30 days of free coverage on engagement jewelry.
JIBNA was founded by 30-year Inland Marine Jewelry veteran David W. Hendry Jr., CIC. The company's provides stand-alone jewelry insurance that is separate from your homeowners or contents insurance policy.
- Scheduled insurance: JIBNA provides insurance specifically for jewelry that isn't covered by an existing homeowners insurance policy; the company calls these pieces "floaters."
- Specific coverage: Some insurance plans offer umbrella coverage, whereas JIBNA allows you to insure only those pieces of jewelry you choose, which could mean lower rates for your policy.
- Online claims: If you need to make a claim on your JIBNA policy, you can either contact a representative by telephone or fill out the claims form directly online.
- Antique coverage: So long as your antique jewelry can be properly appraised, JIBNA is happy to insure it.
- Low minimum premium: With JIBNA, you needn't worry about expensive premium rates; the minimum is set at a very reasonable $50.
- Best for JIBNA insurance is best for homeowners, renters and investors who deal in small to medium-sized collections.
Travelers has been in business for more than 160 years and is part of the Dow Jones industrial average. The company's many international offices focus on insuring various types of property, from jewelry to renter's contents to vehicles.
- The more you invest, the more you save: Because Travelers is all-inclusive when it comes to insurance, you can switch all your possession insurance to one company and save on your premium rate.
- Online billing: Pay your bill the paperless way, with scheduled credit card payments or electronic transfers.
- Business coverage: The company provides both individual and business insurance that includes jewelry coverage, so if you need general business coverage and individual jewelry coverage, both can be found through Travelers.
- Travelers in the community: The company provides financial support and volunteer hours to organizations and communities to bolster academic and career success, thriving neighborhoods and a culturally enriched society.
- Online forms: Top-quality website software allows Travelers' clients to sign into their online accounts, sign documents virtually and send them back to administrative support staff.
- Best for Travelers Valuable Items Coverage is best for homeowners, renters and businesses because of its business coverage and all-inclusive homeowners packages.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.