insurance

3 Simple Steps to Safeguard Your Jewelry

Here's how to make sure your valuables are properly insured.

Step 1

Find an appraiser who specializes in gems and jewelry (start with www.gia.edu/library-appraisal-associations). Appraisers typically charge by the piece ($85 to $100) for simple items and an hourly rate ($180 to $250) for more complex pieces. Avoid those who charge by a percentage of the appraised value. Ask for a detailed report that describes your jewelry and determines its replacement value for insurance purposes.

See Our Ask Kim Column: What Does Homeowners Insurance Really Cover?

Step 2

Assess your existing coverage. Homeowners and renters policies typically limit the coverage of jewelry to a total of $1,000 to $5,000 for specified perils, such as theft or fire, and don’t cover a “mys­­terious disappearance,” such as losing or misplacing the item. If your coverage is too skimpy, add a rider or floater with itemized or blanket coverage of your jewelry, or increase your limits. The additional coverage typically costs 1% to 2% of the items’ appraised value.

Step 3

Update your appraisal and coverage every three to five years to account for changing values or new items. Because you already pay extra to cover your jewelry, your policy may provide temporary coverage—say, up to 90 days and up to $50,000—for new pieces.

The payoff

You can rest easy knowing your treasures are protected.

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