Another holiday shopping season will soon be winding down, and one of the most popular gifts that will be found under Christmas trees and in stockings again this year is jewelry. As a matter of fact, business is booming for the jewelry industry. According to the 2014 US Jewelry State of the Market Report, overall jewelry sales reached $68.8 billion in 2014, with fine jewelry sales during the holiday season alone topping $19 billion. Jewelry sales for this holiday season are anticipated to be even higher.
But when it comes to valuables such as jewelry, the thrill of ownership can quickly turn to devastation when something happens to the piece and you find out it’s not insured.
It’s one of the most common mistakes made by people who own valuables such as jewelry, firearms, antiques, artwork, silverware or furs. Many just assume these items are covered under their homeowner’s insurance.
And then it happens – an irreplaceable item gets lost or stolen, the owner files a claim with the insurance company, and the settlement is a fraction of what it will cost to replace the item – or worse, the claim is denied altogether.
But how can that be? Doesn’t homeowner’s insurance cover personal items such as jewelry and other valuables?
Yes, your homeowner’s policy generally provides coverage for the theft, damage or destruction of your high value items, just like it does for your furniture, appliances, clothing and other personal belongings. But there are usually strict limits to the coverage, and certain losses may not be covered at all.
How can you make sure your valuables are fully protected?
Your high value items need a special level of financial protection that your standard homeowner’s policy just can’t offer. You’ll need to purchase added coverage that’s especially designed for high value items. You have several options that will let you expand the types of losses that are covered and/or increase the amount of coverage for specific items or classes of items:
- Put higher limits on your homeowner’s policy. This option will cost you the least, but there will likely be limits on the amount you can claim for any one item if it’s lost, stolen or damaged.
- Purchase blanket coverage for categories of valuables such as jewelry, art, collectibles, etc. You won’t have to list each item individually, so this option won’t cost you as much as an endorsement or separate floater.
- Supplement your policy with an endorsement or floater. An endorsement is a written agreement to add (or subtract) coverage to your homeowner’s policy, and the terms of the endorsement take precedence over the policy's original terms. You can also purchase personal property floaters as supplements to your homeowner’s policy. These options will cost you more, and you’ll be required to have each item appraised, but you’ll get much more comprehensive protection.