Don’t lose your wallet when paying for jewelry coverage

Question from Anonymous from Noblesville:

I’m getting ready to buy an expensive piece of jewelry for a special lady. What do I need to do to make sure it’s properly protected.

Response from Jamie Ianigro:

Congratulations on your purchase! I hope your special lady likes it and whatever else you might have to say when you give it to her. As you have recently realized, jewelry is high-valued, easily lost or destroyed and vulnerable to theft.

Jewelry is covered on a standard home policy, but usually has a special limit on the total amount of coverage (usually a few hundred dollars). It doesn’t sound like a few hundred dollars is going to cover your potential purchase. Luckily, there are a few options available to protect your jewelry.

Adding an endorsement to your home policy is the easiest way to protect your jewelry, but you can also purchase a separate policy or roll the dice and leave it uninsured. When deciding which method you are going to go with, there are a few questions you should keep in mind:

► Does the coverage consider jewelry values that increase over time?

► Does it cover mysterious disappearance (it’s gone, but you don’t know when or how it disappeared)?

► What causes of loss does the policy cover and exclude?

The next thing you need to figure out is what your piece of jewelry is worth. Since this item will be newly purchased, you have a store receipt or certificate from the jeweler. If you don’t have a receipt or the item has not been appraised recently, it’s time to seek out an expert and get an updated appraisal. Sometimes a jewelry store that you frequent will offer free appraisals, but usually you have to pay for an appraiser’s services. The American Society of Appraisers is a good resource if you’re looking for an appraiser. You can use the “Find an Appraiser” feature on their appraisers.org website.

It is common practice to have your appraisals updated every three to five years. In addition, there are a few other things you should consider doing:

► Take photos of your jewelry from several angles

► Keep original receipts and appraisals

► Consider keeping your jewelry in a hidden safe or storage area

Make sure you’re not being overprotective though. Jewelry is bought to be worn and can’t be enjoyed sitting in a safe.