Should I Insure My Valuables? – Part 1

Did Valentine’s Day bring a glittery new surprise into your home this year? Just because it’s in your home, it is not necessarily covered by your homeowners insurance. Even if you have only a small jewelry collection, it is worthwhile taking out insurance.

Consider this: most homeowners’ insurance policies have a limit to how much you can receive if items are stolen, typically paying out between $2,500 and $5,000, after you meet your deductible. However, if an item is lost, it is very likely you will receive nothing.

The Importance of Having Jewelry Insurance

This true story about a longstanding client of ours demonstrates just how essential jewelry insurance can be:

Our client was, at the time, living in a large house in New Jersey. As the family no longer needed so much space or property, they decided to move to an apartment in Manhattan. One day, with their house on the market, our client left home to allow a couple of potential buyers the chance to look around the property. Upon returning, our client realized that the majority of the jewelry had been stolen from their bedroom. Our client immediately called the police, and then reported the theft to us.

The couple of potential buyers had left the country shortly after viewing the house, meaning our client was unable to regain her jewelry.

Luckily, she had taken out jewelry insurance and, as most of the pieces were covered by her policy, she was able to claim $140,000. Had she lacked coverage, she would only have received $5,000 from her insurance company, regardless of how much jewelry was taken.

Scheduling Valuable Items

The best way to ensure that high-value items are covered by insurance is to schedule (list) them on your policy, assigning specific values and descriptions to each. This has a number of benefits:

  • You will receive the agreed upon value from your insurance company if anything happens to your jewelry. Many companies even cover the appreciated value of an item even if you do not update this value for years.
  • You do not need to meet your deductible before receiving your payment.
  • Coverage for scheduled items is Open Perils rather than Named Perils, which significantly increases the type of losses covered.
  • Your contents coverage then becomes available for more unscheduled items.

When To Choose Blanket Coverage

If you own a large collection of jewelry but few items of high-value, blanket coverage could be a better option than scheduling. You will receive a coverage limit for the category of jewelry with no need to individually list pieces. You could also combine blanket with scheduled items for superior jewelry coverage.

If you think you need jewelry insurance, we can help you find the right coverage for your needs. Choosing the right insurance for your valuables can be a difficult process. Next month, we will discuss insurance for other valuable household items.

For further help and advice, contact us at George A. Bell & Son.