27 September 2023

Rules of engagement: Why you should insure your wedding jewellery

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Lisa Rowan* says getting insurance coverage for your engagement ring or other wedding jewellery can save a lot of heartache and expense.

I once helped a man search for an engagement ring in knee-deep snow, in the dark, in middle-of-nowhere Iceland.

As we sifted through the snow with our mittens while someone distracted his girlfriend, another in our search party (our tour group) chuckled, “Well, you’ve got insurance, right?”

The answer came out in a whimper: Not yet.

We eventually found the ring, she said yes, we all clapped, and everything was fine.

But you don’t want to be like snow-proposal guy, do you?

One wrong move and all that money you spent — or are currently wearing on your hand, right now — could be gone.

Before all you newly engaged types start to panic, you should know that getting insurance for your engagement ring or other wedding jewellery is pretty easy.

Which means you have no excuse to put it off any longer.

Your ring isn’t automatically covered

Even if you already have home and contents insurance (and you do have coverage, right?), it probably doesn’t cover your new jewellery.

“Jewellery is only covered up to a certain amount — usually anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000,” Pat Howard, homeowners insurance expert at Policygenius, said.

“If you have homeowners or renters insurance and the value of the ring exceeds your coverage limits, you can add a scheduled property endorsement or personal articles endorsement to your existing policy.”

You can also get a standalone policy for your jewellery, but it’s often more cost-efficient to get coverage under your existing policy.

The coverage is sometimes wider for standalone policies, meaning that it may cover outright loss of the piece instead of only covering theft and damage.

Don’t forget about deductibles

If you add your jewellery to your current insurance, you’ll pay a premium for the coverage and a deductible or no-claim bonus if anything happens to your ring.

“For example, if you have a $1000 deductible and your engagement ring costs $5,000, you’ll pay the $1,000 deductible first and then your insurance company will pay the remaining $4,000,” Howard said.

Put another way, if your ring was stolen, you’d get a cheque for $4,000 instead of the full value.

Standalone jewellery coverage typically doesn’t have a deductible requirement.

Before you buy coverage, collect your evidence

You can’t just call your insurance company and say you want to buy jewellery coverage unless you can prove what that item is worth.

For a less-expensive item, a sales receipt may do just fine.

But most insurance companies will ask for an appraisal of the item that declares its value based on an independent expert’s review.

You’ll receive a document from the appraiser that outlines the quality and condition of the piece along with a judgement of what it’s worth.

This appraisal ensures you get something comparable if your ring ever needs to be replaced in an insurance claim.

You’ll also need to provide high-resolution images of the piece, often from several angles, to your insurance company.

Yes, we’re adding new expenses to your wedding to-do list before you even start to think about your venue or guest list.

But having coverage for a valuable piece of jewellery that’s bopping around on your busy hands all day will give you peace of mind well beyond the big day.

* Lisa Rowan writes for TwoCentsLH and is co-host of @JustPopFashion. She tweets at @Lisatella. Her website is lisarowan.com.

This article first appeared at www.lifehacker.com.au.

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