May 28 2014 Wednesday at 12:06 PM

Insuring the Engagement Ring: What You Need to Know

 Source: instagram.com/steph_lavoie2002

Many newly-married couples wonder what they can do to protect the investment they’ve made in their most significant pieces of jewelry like the engagement ring and other valuables. Here’s a brief overview of what you need to know when thinking about insuring valuables like your wedding rings.

Doesn’t My Regular Homeowners Policy Cover My Jewelry?

In many cases your homeowners or renters insurance only covers your valuables up to a certain ceiling of value, say $1,000 in the case of jewelry, and the numbers can vary widely depending on many factors. Obviously, if your engagement ring is valued at $5,000 and your policy only covers a loss of $1,000 in jewelry, you have a serious problem if your ring is lost or stolen. The first step in the process is to consult with your insurance company—or simply read your policy—to see what is covered, and for how much.

Do you really need the additional protection? Only you can answer that, but consider a few points. First is that your engagement and wedding rings represent something far greater than their monetary value, but at least with full insurance you can replace them without undue hardship or delay. The peace of mind that confers is substantial. For many, that makes the added expense of the additional insurance worthwhile.

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Your Options

If you decide to supplement your insurance policy with additional coverage for your rings, you will probably need what is sometimes called simply a “ring rider” or a “personal articles floater” depending on your insurance company.

How It Works

Your insurance company will want receipts and an appraisal of the jewelry for their records. Your jeweler will usually provide an appraisal gratis if you purchased the jewelry from them and any reputable jeweler will provide an appraisal for a reasonable fee. (Hint: shop around.) Once you have the appraisal and receipt paperwork out of the way, your insurance company will issue the rider or floater for your rings. While you’re at it, don’t forget to consider insuring your other valuables like watches and any other valuable property that is easily lost or stolen.

Depending on your insurance company (and where you live—some cities or neighborhoods are considered higher risks than others) you can expect to pay $1 to $2 for every $100 in replacement costs. In other words, if your ring would cost $5,000 to replace, you can expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $100 per year to insure it.

The Fine Print

Some additional things that are good to know: how to keep your costs down and what to look for in a policy. You can lower your premiums with common sense precautions like burglar and smoke and fire alarms, and having an in-home safe is even better. Shop around, do a little research on safes, and get the best level of protection you can afford—and make sure your safe is hidden. Also, make sure your policy is comprehensive in its coverage. A good one will insure your rings in almost every circumstance except willful destruction on your part. That’s the kind of full coverage you have every right to expect and remember, all policies aren’t created equal. You may even find an independent insurance company that specializes in jewelry riders or personal articles floaters that is a better fit than your regular insurance company. It always pays to read the fine print before signing on the dotted line.XX