All For Love – A Guide To Insuring Your Jewelry

By: Advocate Brokerage


Most conventional homeowner’s policies offer limited coverage for jewelry, and that limited coverage is subject to the policy deductible. For this reason, we recommend that valuable jewelry is covered under a Valuable Items Policy (also sometimes referred to as a Collections Policy or an Inland Marine Policy).

There are two main types of jewelry coverage:

  • Actual Cash Value allows for depreciation, and the insurance carrier reserves the right to replace the item.
  • Agreed Value ensures the claim will be settled for the insured value regardless of if you choose to replace the items or not. This differs greatly from a carrier whose contract wording states that they will pay the lesser amount if the carrier can replace the item at a lower cost through its wholesaler.

Most carriers only offer the restrictive Actual Cash Value form, which allows for depreciation, often imposes a deductible, and can lead to disagreements regarding the valuation. Additionally, coverage may be territorial (only offered when you are at home in the US).

Another option we see is blanket coverage, which means that you receive an overall coverage limit for your jewelry and depending on the insurance carrier there is often a maximum limit per item (but not always). At the time of loss, you will have to identify and verify the value of the item.

We recommend enhancing your coverage by scheduling your jewelry items. This way your jewelry items are specifically listed along with the Agreed Value per item. This means that the value is pre-agreed prior to a loss, coverage is worldwide, and there is no deductible.

Important Thoughts On Appraisals

Appraisals not only help you understand the worth of your valuables, they are an important tool to help you make smart decisions regarding their protection. The cost of gems and platinum and gold fluctuate. By keeping current on your appraisals, you ensure that the agreed values are accurate.

Choosing Your Appraiser

Keep in mind that not all appraisers have an in-depth knowledge of every type of valuable, so make sure yours is an expert in the field.
Below are some additional guidelines:

  • Look for a business that is well established and is well known within the community.
  • Make sure that the appraiser you select is an independent appraiser and a certified gemologist from the American Gem Society. We also recommend that they be a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) graduate.
  • When an appraiser charges you a percentage of the items value that creates a conflict of interest. Instead look for an appraiser that chooses a flat fee or works based on an hourly rate.
  • Appraisals aren’t a one and done item on your to do list. You’ll want to make sure your jewelry re-appraised every 3 – 5 years to account for market fluctuations.

There are different types of coverage in which the details vary from carrier to carrier so it is recommended that you speak with your agent and share a bit about your collection so that the coverage can be tailored to your specific needs. If you have questions about protecting your beloved jewelry, please get in touch with us at 914-723-7100.

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