Standard homeowners, condominium or renters insurance policies include a limited amount of coverage for jewelry and other valuable items. However, many policies limit the dollar amount of coverage for the theft or loss due to a covered peril of such items. To properly protect certain types of valuables, additional coverage is available through a policy endorsement.
Endorsements are additions to your homeowners, condominium or renters insurance policy that change or add to the policy’s provisions. The endorsement can cover property otherwise excluded from a basic homeowners insurance policy, extend the number of perils included, or increase the amount paid for a covered loss. The items of value are “scheduled” on a list that includes a brief description and the item’s dollar value.
In order to determine each item’s value, an appraisal or sales receipt is typically required. This will help ensure that, in the event of a covered loss, the amount of insurance is enough to cover the repair, replacement or cash payment of the item. Items scheduled are typically not subject to the policy deductible.
We typically recommend that you schedule your various jewelry items (especially the ones worth $1,000 or more) on your homeowners, condo or renters policy. The strategy of scheduling items works well because:
- Almost every accidental claim - including the loss of the stone or even the loss of the entire piece - is covered.
- There’s no deductible.
- An appraisal is usually required to schedule an item, so it’s less likely that there will be a dispute over what you lost. You simply take the most recent appraisal to the jeweler and they will use the appraisal to closely match what you lost.
Also, be sure to protect yourself by updating your appraisal and increasing your coverage limits every three to five years. This will protect you from being under insured.
Here are a few more quick tips for managing your jewelry risks:
- Don’t schedule the small stuff, especially items you wouldn’t want to replace.
- Schedule items worth $1,000 or more. Don’t forget to add sales tax to the value of each item.
- Store pieces you seldom wear, especially heirlooms, in a safe deposit box. Insurance can only pay cash and can’t begin to replace the sentimental value of your treasures.
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