So you just got engaged. Congratulations! Chances are you have a lot of planning ahead of you, and hopefully many years of wedded bliss as well. If there was a ring involved in the proposal you may want to consider how you’re going to care for that precious investment going forward, including whether or not to insure it, and if so, how.
While most homeowners and renters policies include coverage for personal items like jewelry and other valuables (think watches and furs) in cases of things like fires, windstorms and even theft or vandalism, there are limits to those coverages. That’s why you may want to consider a separate policy or, essentially, some type of jewelry insurance to protect the symbol of your affection and commitment, especially if it was worth thousands or even tens-of-thousands of dollars.
Does homeowners/renters insurance cover my engagement ring?
We spoke with Janet Ruiz of the Insurance Information Institute to get a better understanding of the options involved in insuring your engagement and/or wedding rings and whether doing so is the right plan for you.
“Coverage on a homeowners/renters policy usually has a limit of anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, and the losses covered are limited to the covered perils on the policy,” Ruiz explained. That means if you lost your engagement ring in, say, a flood after a hurricane, it would not be covered under your homeowners policy because it was due to rising water, which is a peril covered only by flood insurance.
“There is also a deductible on a homeowners policy,” Ruiz continued. That means the full value of your engagement ring — or wedding ring, watch or other valuable — would not be covered at full or even replacement value.
How to insure your engagement ring
So, if you have a $15,000 engagement ring and you have $5,000 worth of jewelry coverage under your homeowners policy, which has a $1,000 deductible, you’re going to receive just $4,000 for your lost ring. That’s why Ruiz and other insurance professionals advise “scheduling” your jewelry and other expensive pieces through a relatively inexpensive “floater” policy. While you can raise the limit on your homeowners policy for these items, chances are you’ll be limited in the amount you can claim for the loss of any individual piece.
“The jewelry coverage covers more perils and is not subject to a deductible,” Ruiz said. “For example, if you have a set of earrings and lose one, the set will be replaced.”
Jewelry Insurance 101
Better yet, the item itself is covered against a multitude of perils that can occur anywhere. So, say you’re on vacation and your ring is stolen from your hotel room. Under your homeowners policy, it’s not covered, but it is if you have the floater policy or jewelry insurance on the item. Or say a stone falls out of your setting and you’re getting it fixed and the jeweler is burgled. If the jeweler doesn’t have coverage against that kind of loss for customer items, your jewelry coverage would take care of it (this is why it’s good to ask such businesses if they have insurance against damages, theft, etc.).
While scheduling each piece may cost you more in premiums, it offers broader protection because the floater or separate policy covers basically any kind of loss, including accidents like dropping your ring down the drain or leaving it at the restroom sink in a restaurant. Homeowner policies simply won’t cover those kinds of things.
If this kind of coverage sounds like something you’d like to get, keep in mind that it’s good to shop around for the best coverage. Also, you’re going to need a professional appraisal of your valuables before you can purchase a floater policy. The cost of that service varies depending on where you live.