Will My Homeowner's Policy Cover My Jewelry?

You need to add a low-cost insurance rider to protect jewelry and other valuables.

After you've thanked your special someone for that extra-special holiday gift, contact your insurer. Most homeowners policies limit coverage for personal valuables, and you could fall far short of replacement value if your brand-new Patek Philippe watch is lost or stolen.

Homeowners insurance generally covers your possessions up to 50% of your total coverage. So if you have a $300,000 policy, your home furnishings and equipment are insured for as much as $150,000.

But most policies also place limits on specific kinds of items -- promising to pay a maximum of, say, $1,500 to $2,500 for all of your jewelry in the event of damage or theft. Other categories that usually have reimbursement limits include silver flatware, firearms, coins, stamps and furs. (Read the "contents and additional coverage" section of your policy for the details.) Accidental loss is generally not covered. So if you lose your engagement ring, you're out of luck.

To raise your coverage limit and ensure that you're protected in case of loss as well as theft, contact your insurance agent and ask either to add a rider to your policy or to "schedule" the item. (You may need a written appraisal, although a detailed receipt may suffice.) Once you set a value and schedule the item, you're covered for the full amount if it is lost, stolen or destroyed. "That makes the claims experience easier because there doesn't need to be an investigation into the value," says Matthew Cullina, of MetLife Auto and Home. Plus, there's no deductible for scheduled items.

Extra coverage is inexpensive. MetLife charges an average of 85 cents per $100 of coverage for jewelry kept at home and 35 cents per $100 for items kept in a vault. (Actual prices vary by company and geographical location.) Revisit your coverage levels frequently -- every three years, recommends Jamahl Johnson, an agent with Erie Insurance in Washington, D.C.

Generally, homeowners policies don't set limits on personal electronic items (other than your overall possessions limit). But make sure that your policy includes replacement-value coverage, which will pay for you to replace your item with a new one, and not actual cash-value coverage, which will leave you scrounging to buy a used PC or TV with the money you receive.

Back to the Magazine Center

Most Popular

The 15 Best Growth Stocks for the Rest of 2022
growth stocks

The 15 Best Growth Stocks for the Rest of 2022

A sharp selloff in growth stocks this year creates opportunity for keen investors. Here are 15 top-rated picks to consider in the second half of 2022.
June 28, 2022
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
Best Internet Banks
online banking

Best Internet Banks

These institutions operate fully online, which decreases their overhead costs and allows them to offer lower fees and higher rates than many other ban…
June 23, 2022


Homeowners Insurance: How to Protect Your Home
Brandon Copeland

Homeowners Insurance: How to Protect Your Home

NFL linebacker and Kiplinger contributing editor Brandon Copeland discusses the ins and outs of homeowners insurance.
June 8, 2022
Short-Term Insurance Plans' Good, Bad and Ugly

Short-Term Insurance Plans' Good, Bad and Ugly

You'll need a clear-eyed analysis to gauge the value of short-term care insurance plans and if they're right for you.
May 26, 2022
Things You’ll Regret Keeping in a Safe Deposit Box

Things You’ll Regret Keeping in a Safe Deposit Box

Locking up certain important documents and valuables in a bank vault could turn into a headache for you or your heirs.
May 18, 2022
7 Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover
Healthy Living on a Budget

7 Things Medicare Doesn’t Cover

Medicare Part A and Part B leave some pretty significant gaps in your health-care coverage. But Medicare Advantage has problems, too.
May 4, 2022