Like real estate and fine art, jewelry can be a valuable asset that stays valuable. Because a single piece of jewelry can be worth thousands or even millions of dollars, and because the size of jewelry makes it relatively easy to lose or steal, many jewelry owners buy insurance policies on their jewelry. In addition to loss or theft, such policies can cover things like damage or the loss of stones. If you own or plan to own a piece of valuable jewelry, you can take advantage of policies offered by a number of insurance companies. Before taking this step, keep the following considerations in mind.
Before you insure your jewelry, you may want to get some idea of what it is worth. This is especially important for jewelry bought many years before, because it may have significantly appreciated in value. To get an appraisal, you may take it to a professional gemologist. These professionals often work at jewelry stores. They use microscopes and other equipment to inspect jewelry. They then make an estimation of its value according to things like faults and damages, difficulty of design, rarity, material and current market prices. Gemologists often do not charge fees for their services because jewelry stores use the appraisal as a way of selling jewelry insurance. You may also get an appraisal at a pawn shop or consult Web sites with jewelry appraisal information. However, these methods are often less accurate. Pawn shops in particular tend to understate jewelry values because they intend to buy and resell it.
Policies From Dealers
As stated above, one place to buy a jewelry insurance policy would be at a jewelry store. Jewelry stores often sell insurance policies on jewelry that people already own as well as on jewelry that they sell themselves. Some jewelry stores categorically insure the products they sell. For example, a store that sells a client a wedding ring may include an insurance policy for the gem, replacing it free of charge if it falls out of its setting and is lost. Stores may also offer optional policies on top of what they sell for an additional fee. These policies cover things like theft or loss of the entire piece of jewelry. As with brick-and-mortar jewelry stores, online stores also offer insurance policies on what they sell. Visit Web sites for industry leaders such as Blue Nile to get an insurance quote.
Policies From Jewelry Insurance Companies
Some companies specialize in the insurance of jewelry. They sell insurance for most kinds of jewelry and have various coverage options. If you are the owner of a store that sells jewelry, this is the course you should take to insure your inventory, as they have policies specifically for businesses as well as for individuals. In shopping for a jewelry insurance company, make sure that the company is endorsed by a professional or industry organization, as this adds to the company's reputability. Most such companies that are reputable can be found on the Internet. One industry leader in jewelry insurance is Jewelers Mutual.
Policies From General Insurance Companies
In addition to specialized jewelry insurance companies, many general insurance companies also offer jewelry insurance as well. The same coverage from a company that does not specialize in jewelry may or may not come at a more affordable rate. However, bear in mind that you may enjoy a rate discount if you purchase auto, home, life and jewelry policies all from the same company.
Homeowner's insurance, as the name implies, is insurance for someone who owns a home. Such policies usually cover things like damage done to the property by natural disasters or vandalism. However, they often cover the theft, damage or loss of belongings in the home as well – including jewelry. Consult your homeowner's insurance policy to see whether or not it provides coverage for your jewelry. Even if it does, it may not cover the full amount. For instance, it may only cover up to a set amount per piece of jewelry or up to a total amount for all of your jewelry. It also may only cover against theft and/or damage, and not accidental loss. If you have a homeowner's policy that offers such partial coverage, you may be able to get additional jewelry coverage added to that policy for a certain price or buy a separate jewelry insurance policy that picks up coverage where your homeowner's insurance leaves off. If you do decide to buy a separate insurance policy for your jewelry, make sure that it comes as a supplement to the coverage offered by your homeowner's insurance policy, as this will help you to get a better rate.
Due to the nature of jewelry as an asset, you may end up paying on your jewelry insurance policy for the rest of your life. For this reason, it is good to shop around and find the best rate. Do not be afraid to ask various providers for specific information regarding rates and coverage. Also make sure to look up your insurance company with organizations like the Better Business Bureau or Moody’s. A company that offers low rates may not be the best investment if it has poor ratings. After deciding on a policy, make sure to put the policy paperwork in a safe place.
Keep this information in mind when you are on the market for jewelry insurance. It can help you to get a good deal with a reputable insurance company.