Written by Robert Borneman, Gemologist
Insurance companies rely on appraisals from independent jewelry professionals to establish the replacement value of an item. This value is the basis from which the proper insurance premium is calculated. Your appraisal should be updated and resubmitted to your insurance company regularly, every two to three years, in order to accurately record the current value of your jewelry.
All insurance companies require an appraisal for each item you wish to insure. An appraisal is a document which provides a detailed description for each piece of jewelry that you own. The document should state the type of article and it’s style, design, motif, method of construction, type of metal, quantity of gemstones with sizes and qualities, provenance, and historical significance when applicable. In addition, an appraisal indicates the current retail replacement value of your jewelry.
While most policies cover the loss of your jewelry, here are some questions you should inquire of your insurance company or agent,: How much is the deductible for items listed in the rider? Is mysterious disappearance covered? (i.e., an item is missing for weeks and you don’t know if it was lost or stolen. Maybe you left a ring on the sink in the bathroom at the airport and when you went back it was gone). What about lost gemstones? (i.e., I looked down one day and the Diamond in my engagement ring was missing). What about damage? (i.e., you have chipped or broken your Diamond).
The traditional way to insure your fine jewelry is accomplished by adding a rider to your homeowners or tenants insurance policy. Most homeowner’s policies only cover jewelry which is listed in a rider. Personal Jewelry Insurance, available from our insurer, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, is another option we would like to make you aware of. We do not sell insurance, but we have brochures, applications and rate cards available to simplify the process for you to insure your valuable jewelry. Jewelers Mutual only insures jewelry, offers competitive rates, and does not require you to have additional policies in order to apply for coverage.
If you experience a loss, most insurance companies will request a copy of a police report so be sure to file one promptly, a police report will enhance your chances of being reimbursed promptly. Asking prudent questions before you select insurance will help you get the proper insurance. If you do not know the value of your jewelry, Diamond Jewelers provides a free evaluation service to help you determine what jewelry should be insured. If you need a new or updated appraisal, Diamond Jewelers can provide you with written appraisals accepted by all insurance companies for a nominal fee. For additional information or if you have any questions please feel free to E-Mail us.