Your homeowner’s insurance policy likely includes some coverage for gems and jewelry. However, you should determine both the limits of that coverage and the value of your collection. Don’t just assume that coverage will be sufficient in case of a loss. Review your homeowner’s policy and see if you can find the answers to these questions. Confirm the answers with your insurance company and ask them any additional questions you may have.
What Is My Homeowner’s Insurance Policy’s Sub-Limit For Jewelry?
Although the contents of your home may be covered for losses up to a specified amount, certain categories of contents may be subject to a cap on what you can claim for a loss. These caps are called sub-limits. For example, although a policy may insure the contents of your home up to $100,000, your coverage for jewelry may be capped at $1,000. Some homeowner’s policies may have higher jewelry sub-limits, but the bottom line is that these amounts are small fractions of your contents coverage amount.
Coverage for sub-limited items is also normally subject to your homeowner’s policy deductible.
You don’t need to have appraisals for your jewelry in order to file a claim under your homeowner’s policy.
What Risks Are Covered By My Homeowner’s Insurance Policy?
Theft is usually covered for the contents of your home, but there are many other kinds of risks. What about damage to your jewelry and “mysterious disappearance?” If your items are lost, damaged, or stolen outside your home, are you covered?
Can I Purchase Additional Coverage?
You may be able to purchase additional coverage for your collection without the need for an appraisal. Blanket coverage for your collection may be an affordable option if you possess many low-value items. However, if you possess high-value pieces, you should consider having them appraised and scheduled or itemized for additional coverage.
How Can I Determine If A Gemstone Or Jewelry Piece Is Worth Appraising And Scheduling?
Is that green gem in the brooch you inherited really an emerald? Gemstone identification isn’t easy, sometimes not even for the experts. If you have a piece you think might be particularly valuable, have it identified and appraised by an independent gemology lab. If the replacement value for the piece exceeds your jewelry sub-limit under your homeowner’s policy, consider getting additional coverage.
If you’re trying to decide if getting an appraisal for additional coverage is worthwhile, International Gem Society members can consult our Gem Price Guide for standard retail prices for particular gemstones. Of course, the value of individual stones will vary, and these tables don’t factor in the value of jewelry settings. Although a professional gem and jewelry appraisal is the best way to determine insurance value, this guide can help you get a ballpark estimate.