Q

Does homeowners insurance cover lost or damaged jewelry?

A

Lost or damaged jewelry is covered by homeowners insurance in the event of a covered loss, like theft or hurricane damage. However, coverage for jewelry and other valuable items is generally more limited than your regular personal belongings.

Pat Howard 1600Kara McGinley

By

Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor at Policygenius specializing in property and casualty insurance. His work has been featured on Property Casualty 360, Fatherly, MarketWatch, and more.

&

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto, and renters insurance. She's been writing about insurance since 2019, and her work and insights have been referenced in Kiplinger and WRAL.com.

Updated August 2, 2021|5 min read

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Jewelry and any other belongings that you own are covered under the personal property coverage section of your homeowners insurance. These items are covered for losses caused by the types of damage or loss, or perils, listed in your policy. Some covered perils include house fires, windstorms, theft, and vandalism.

Since jewelry and other high-value possessions are a target for thieves, insurers have a limit to how much they’ll pay out for jewelry theft. Also known as a special limit of liability, or sublimit, this is the maximum amount your insurer will reimburse you for individual items or a class of items. In a base home insurance policy, jewelry payouts are usually capped at around $1,500 of theft losses.

If you recently bought an engagement ring or a Rolex watch that exceeds your policy’s special limits of liability, you can purchase an endorsement or floater to increase the coverage limits on those items. By adding a scheduled personal property endorsement to your policy, you can cover your jewelry up to its appraised value. This policy add-on also covers a greater variety of losses than standard coverage, including  “mysterious disappearance” (jewelry that you misplace or lose).

Key Takeaways

  • Homeowners insurance covers lost or damaged jewelry if the cause of loss is covered by your policy

  • Theft of jewelry and other valuable items is covered on a more limited basis than regular personal property. Reimbursements for jewelry theft are usually capped at $1,500 in a base policy

  • For higher coverage limits and more comprehensive protection, consider blanket coverage, a scheduled personal property endorsement, or stand alone jewelry insurance

When does homeowners insurance cover jewelry?

Standard homeowners insurance covers your personal belongings — including jewelry — from covered perils in your policy. If your jewelry is damaged or lost due to the following types of damage, homeowners insurance may help pay to repair or replace it.

  • Fire or smoke damage

  • Certain types of water damage, like a burst pipe

  • Weather related damage, like a windstorm 

  • Vandalism

  • Theft (most policies have a $1,500 sublimit for stolen jewelry)

That means If your necklace or rings are destroyed in a fire, for example, you’ll be reimbursed for the loss up to the personal property coverage limit in your policy. This limit is typically around 50% of your home’s insured value, or dwelling coverage amount

However, there are special limits of liability — or sublimits — that are applied to jewelry and other certain expensive valuables if they're stolen. Sublimits are the maximum amount an insurance company will pay you out for a covered loss.

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Does homeowners insurance cover lost jewelry?

Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover jewelry or any other personal belongings if they disappear out of the blue or are dropped down the drain. The one exception to this is if you lose or misplace jewelry because of a covered peril, like a fire or hurricane.

If you’re anxious about leaving your bling at the beach or in the gym shower, there are additional coverage options that can quell your worries. Many insurance companies offer coverage options and endorsements to enhance coverage for your jewelry. 

How is jewelry covered by homeowners insurance?

As mentioned above, homeowners insurance will help pay to repair your damaged jewelry up to your policy’s coverage limit. But there will be special limits of liability (or sublimits) for jewelry that is stolen. Sublimits can come both in the form of per-item and blanket limits. For example, if your per-item jewelry sublimit is $1,000, the maximum you’ll be paid out for a single piece of jewelry is $1,000. If your collective jewelry sublimit is $1,500, the maximum you’ll be paid out for all of your jewelry in the event of a theft loss is $1,500.

Keep in mind that you’ll also need to pay your deductible before your insurance company will reimburse you for a claim. That means if $1,500 worth of jewelry was taken from your home and you have a $500 deductible, you’ll need to pay $500 out of pocket before your insurer will reimburse you for the remaining $1,000. 

If you own a lot of expensive jewelry, your insurance company may have additional coverage options that you can add to your policy.

Three ways to increase your policy’s jewelry coverage 

If you own an expensive piece of jewelry or a high-value jewelry collection, consider additional coverage to ensure you’re fully covered in the event that something bad happens. Here’s a few ways you can do that:

1. See if you can raise the sublimits in your policy

Some homeowners insurance companies will let you simply raise the special limits of liability for items with reimbursement limits — including jewelry, furs, electronics, collectibles, and more. Depending on the company, you may be able to raise the limits for individual categories of items (referred to as blanket coverage) or select a product tier that raises the coverage limits across every category. For example, if your standard policy limit for jewelry is $500/$1,500, your company may let you increase it to $2,000/$5,000 or $2,000/$10,000.

2. Check for coverage endorsements like a scheduled property coverage

Most homeowners insurance companies will also let you itemize or “schedule” expensive valuables by adding a scheduled personal property or personal articles endorsement to your policy for an additional premium. You should first get your jewelry appraised so you know how much coverage you need. While it depends on the company, these endorsements let you raise the coverage limits on certain items to $10,000 and cover all types of loss, including mysterious disappearance or if you accidentally drop your jewelry down the drain. 

3. Consider jewelry insurance

If you don’t have homeowners or renters insurance, you can also look into standalone jewelry insurance. Like a scheduled personal property endorsement, jewelry insurance covers jewelry against more instances of loss than a standard policy. You also don’t need to pay a deductible on a jewelry insurance claim.

Most major home and auto insurance companies also offer jewelry insurance. Progressive, for example, offers jewelry coverage that costs anywhere from 1–2% of the appraised value of your jewelry annually. 

How to file a claim for lost or stolen jewelry

If your jewelry is stolen, you should first contact the police and file a police report. You’ll need a copy of the police report when filing a claim with your insurance company. If your jewelry is damaged by a covered event, you should gather as much proof as possible, like with photos or videos of the source of damage. Once you’re through with that, contact your insurer.

Depending on what type of coverage you have, you may need to pay a deductible when filing a claim for damaged jewelry. Be prepared to provide your insurance company with as much information as possible, including receipts or an appraisal showing how much the jewelry cost. 

If the claim is approved, your insurer will reimburse you up to your coverage limit.

Frequently asked questions

Does ring insurance cover a lost ring?

A standalone jewelry insurance policy may cover mysterious disappearance. Depending on the insurer, if you lose your ring, you may be reimbursed up to a percentage of the ring’s appraised value.

How much jewelry does homeowners insurance cover?

Homeowners insurance will cover jewelry if it is damaged by a covered peril, up to your policy's personal property coverage limit. However, reimbrusements for jewelry theft are usually capped at $1,500.

When does homeowners insurance not cover jewelry?

A base homeowners insurance policy won’t cover your jewelry if damaged in a flood or earthquake. It also won’t cover your jewelry if it’s damaged from wear and tear over time, or if you misplace it or lose your jewelry out of the blue.

Does homeowners insurance cover lost items?

A basic homeowners policy won’t cover items that were lost or misplaced out of nowhere. But you can add scheduled personal property coverage to your policy to cover losses related to “mysterious disappearance”.

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