We’ve all heard devastating stories of jewelry lost to thieves, fires and, in one noteworthy ocean liner’s case, icebergs. It’s tragic beyond words when a priceless piece of jewelry is misplaced, and it’s not hard to understand why. Jewelry is meant to be cherished, to serve as a symbol of undying love, to be passed from one generation to the next. Often, it’s irreplaceable. But accidents and mishaps happen, of course, and you’ve got to have safeguards in place. That’s where jewelry insurance comes in. This protection is crucial for people who own even a single piece of cherished jewelry, and here’s why.
What is Jewelry Insurance?
Jewelry insurance exists to help safeguard your jewelry investment should something happen to it. Though your favorite pieces can never be replaced—especially if they are custom-made, heirlooms, antiques or made with hard-to-find materials—jewelry insurance can cover a portion or the entirety of the monetary value should your items become lost, stolen, or damaged.
Typically, comprehensive insurance covers theft, accidental damage, and, yes, loss. Sometimes it even covers “unexplained loss” or “mysterious disappearance,” which can be helpful if you don’t know what happened to your favorite pieces. Though premiums vary, the general rule is that you will pay between $1 and $2 for every $100 your jewelry is worth in premiums.
You can generally obtain jewelry insurance either through your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance or by purchasing a policy with a special jewelry insurance company (sometimes referred to as a “standalone” policy). Going through your homeowner’s insurance is probably the simplest way to do this. Depending on your policy, you may not get the full value back if something happens to your jewelry, but even a portion can soften the blow of a catastrophe or misfortune.
Remember, you don’t have to own iced-out gold pendants or a Hodinkee-worthy Rolex collection to get your baubles insured. Any piece that you love, cherish, or spent a pretty penny on should be appraised and then submitted to your insurance for coverage. Here are a few reasons why:
1 — It Protects Your Investment – Perhaps the most obvious reason to get your jewelry insured is that it protects your monetary investment, and, therefore, your overall worth. At the end of the day, expensive jewelry carries more than just sentimental value. It also carries (sometimes very large) monetary value. Many people treat their heirloom jewelry and watch collections as actual investments, and they’re right to do so since jewelry tends to appreciate in value and is one of the more steady investments you can own.
2 — It Gives You More Freedom – It’s disappointing enough when we hear about five-carat diamonds that are lost or stolen, but it’s even more disappointing when we hear about them being locked in safes and cases, never to be worn or appreciated. It’s also understandable why so many jewelry-lovers keep their pieces unworn. The risk, sometimes, is just too high—but when you have the appropriate insurance policy, the risk is lowered. That means you can wear even your flashiest gem-encrusted rings, necklaces, and bracelets while you travel or go to special events, and you’ll definitely worry less.
3 — It Clues You In to Your Collection’s Worth – In order to properly insure anything of value, you have to know that value. In the case of jewelry, that generally means having it appraised by a jeweler or an industry expert. For those of us with interesting heirloom pieces or who love to buy at auctions, it can be hard to know exactly how much your finds are worth. If buying new, reputable jewelers will generally supply you with an appraisal certificate that you can submit to your insurance company.
4 — It Makes Mishaps Less Impactful – If you’ve ever experienced the devastation and vulnerability that sets in after having been robbed or enduring a natural disaster, you know that there’s virtually nothing that can serve as a real consolation. With that being said, getting the value of your jewelry back is one way to lessen the blow. The last thing you want to think about when you’re in such a devastated state is monetary loss.
5 — It Ensures That Your Jewelry Is Appreciated – We’re not suggesting that you go and lend all of your fancy jewelry to your friends and family members, but we are suggesting that the right insurance policy can help you share your favorite pieces with less worry if that’s something you want to do. Say you want to lend out an expensive gold chain or a friend wants to try on your engagement ring. You won’t stress so much about saying yes if you know your bling is covered, and you’ll be able to give your favorite gems the glory they deserve.
6 — It Helps Guarantee That You Have Something to Pass On – In the terrible event that something happens to your valuable but insured jewelry, your insurance company will cut you a check for part or all of its monetary value. With that money, you can purchase pieces that you and your family will cherish and pass along from generation to generation. In the terrible event that something happens to your valuable but uninsured jewelry? Well … you’ll have nothing to pass along, and that can be beyond upsetting.
It’s All About Peace of Mind
It’s true that some jewelry is literally irreplaceable and metaphorically invaluable. But that doesn’t mean that the proper insurance plan won’t help ease the blow of a devastating event, an accident, or simply a brief moment of absentmindedness. At the very least, having your ice insured provides you with more peace of mind so you can enjoy your one-of-a-kind jewelry to its fullest. Ideally, you’ll never have to use your policy, but it’s still crucial that you have it.
Author Bio: Mark Broadly is a Journalism Major and Spanish Minor at NYU. After graduation, he plans to seek a career as a writer and eventually publish his own novel. In his spare time, he loves freelance blogging, hip-hop dance, fashion, and exploring NYC.