Allow Your Heart to be Stolen -
Not Your Gifts
Protect Diamond Rings and Other Expensive Jewelry with Appropriate Insurance
By J. Brandon Scearce
Matters of the heart can be expensive. Next to flowers and chocolates, jewelry is one of the most popular gifts to give for Valentine's Day. If you receive an engagement ring or other pieces of jewelry, make sure you have the necessary insurance.
Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies include coverage for personal items such as jewelry. However, many policies limit the dollar amount for theft of valuable personal possession such as jewelry, furs, and precious stones.
"To properly insure jewelry and other expensive items, consider purchasing additional coverage through a floater or an endorsement. The cost is quite inexpensive in comparison to the cost of the jewelry," said Brandon.
"In most cases, you would be covered for "mysterious disappearance" if the ring is lost for any number of reasons. If your ring falls off your finger or is lost, you would be financially protected. With floaters and endorsements, there are no deductibles and frequently you will get the option of having the insurance company replace the item for you," according to Brandon.
Tips to make sure your jewelry is adequately protected:
Contact your insurance professional immediately
Let your agent or company representative know that you are now in possession of an expensive piece of jewelry. Find out how much coverage you have and if additional insurance is needed.
Have the item appraised
Heirlooms and items that were purchased several years ago will need to be appraised for their dollar value. Ask your insurer for recommendations regarding a reputable appraiser. It is important that expensive items are appraised properly. If you purchase a floater or endorsement, you will pay a premium based on this amount. In the event of a claim, you will be compensated for this dollar amount as well.
Keep a copy of the store receipt
You will need to forward a copy of the receipt to your insurer so that the company knows the current retail value of the item. Keep a copy for yourself and include it to your home inventory.
Store valuables in a secure location
Protect your jewelry by storing it in a secure location in your home. If you donít plan to wear the item regularly or are holding it for a child, consider keeping it in a safe deposit box. You may save money on the cost of insuring it, as some companies offer "in vault" coverage. If you want to wear the jewelry for a special occasion, many insurers will offer the option of purchasing additional coverage for the time it is out of the bank. You would, of course, have to notify your insurer ahead of time.
Take a picture of the item or collection
Get into the habit of keeping a visual record of all of your personal possessions. This helps to document your loss and speed up the claims process. It is also useful to document antique and unusual pieces of jewelry.
Update the value of your jewelry
Expensive items go up or go down in value. Talk to your insurance professional about how to make sure the dollar amount of your floater or endorsement reflects these changes. Prices for floaters and endorsements will vary depending on the type of jewelry, the insurance company you chose, where you live and where the item will be kept.
"There is no way to put a dollar value on sentiment," cautions Brandon. "It's important to know what you have, what it's worth and have proper insurance coverage."
To learn more about insuring your valuables, contact J. Brandon Scearce at 434-793-5122 in Danville; or at 434-575-5540 in South Boston or go online at
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The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
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