Has your (or your partner’s) left hand been looking a little more sparkly of late? Congratulations, you’re getting married! But before you dive headfirst into planning your perfect wedding, you should take another look at that ring and think seriously about getting it insured.
I know, it’s not particularly romantic, and nobody likes to think about their ring—that special symbol of love and commitment—being lost, stolen or damaged, but the last thing you want to do is wait until it’s slipped off your finger and down the drain (speaking of which, get that ring resized A.S.A.P.), been knocked off your towel at the beach, or shed a couple of gems. So, where do you start? Here’s what you need to know:
Choosing a Provider
When looking for insurance providers for your engagement ring, you have two main options to choose from:
- Adding ring insurance to an existing homeowners or renters insurance policy.
- Getting a policy through a specialized jewelry insurance company, such as Jeweler’s Mutual Insurance Company or Lavalier.
Now, if you already have home or renters insurance, you may feel like your ring is sufficiently covered. After all, these types of insurance policies do cover personal belongings. However, keep in mind that these policies tend to break belongings into categories and generally the jewelry category is allotted between $500 - $2,000 dollars – probably not enough to replace your engagement ring. Plus, your existing policy will most likely only cover theft or damage which takes place in your home (since that’s what it’s designed for).
Fortunately, it’s possible to ‘schedule’ your ring on your insurance policy, marking it as a particularly valuable item. This type of policy extension (also known as a ‘rider’ or ‘floater’) will specifically cover your engagement ring and provide protection against a much broader range of risks, including loss and different types of damage not included in a standard home or renters insurance policy. It will also protect your ring both inside and outside of your home. Just remember that if you move after the wedding (or any time in the future), you will need to make sure that your ring policy extension follows you to your new home.
If you don’t have homeowners or renters insurance, or if your company doesn’t provide the kind of coverage you want, you can alternatively get your ring insured through a company which specializes in insuring jewelry. These companies tend to offer more comprehensive coverage than you can get through your homeowners insurance provider. If you’re not sure where to start, try asking your jeweler if they work with an insurance company to offer ring insurance or if they have any recommendations. Just remember to ask what level of coverage is provided.
What You Will Need
No matter what kind of insurance provider you choose, they will almost definitely ask for a copy of the receipt you were given by your jeweler. In addition to this, most insurance companies will require you to have the ring appraised by a certified gemologist, especially if it cost $5,000 or more. This will provide your insurance company with documentation containing all of your ring’s specifications and an estimate of its current retail value.
Having your ring appraised will cost you a small fee, but it’s worth it to find an appraiser who’s good at what they do so that you can get an accurate report. If you’re not sure where to get your ring appraised, try asking your jeweler for a recommendation. You may even get your appraisal done by your own jeweler, although some insurance companies specifically ask that your appraiser be unaffiliated with ring’s seller.
Even after you’ve gotten your ring insured, it’s a good idea to get your ring reappraised at least every five years so that its estimated value can be adjusted to accommodate the changing prices of materials and labor. With the prices of gold and other precious metals rising steadily, your ring could very well become more valuable over time. Keep a copy of your appraisal, too, so that you can have your own record.
How Much Will It Cost?
On average, insuring your engagement ring will cost you about 1-3% of the ring’s value per year. That’s $1-3 for every $100 dollars that a replacement would cost. So, basically, if your ring cost $5,000, you’ll likely pay between $50 and $150 per year. This price will vary according to several factors, including the level of coverage the policy offers, the ring’s value, and the crime rate for the city in which you live (not going to lie, living in Baltimore may work against us here). If you choose a policy with a deductible, your yearly premium will be less, but if you ever do have to make a claim, you will have to pay a certain amount of money before your insurance company steps in and pays the remaining cost.
Read the Fine Print and Ask Questions
Not surprisingly, there’s a great deal of variation between policies offered by different providers. Because of this, you should always read the fine print and know exactly what kind of coverage you’re getting (and what kind you want) before committing to a policy. For instance, some policies will reimburse you with a check in the event of a claim, while others—such as the ones offered by Jeweler’s Mutual—will exclusively fund the purchase of a replacement. Other policies, known as Actual Value Policies, will only cover the depreciated worth of your ring, subtracting a depreciation factor from the original purchase price of your ring each year as a way to adjust for wear and tear. Still other policies won’t cover your ring while you are traveling outside of the country, so if you frequently travel abroad, you should definitely make sure that your policy will cover your ring wherever you go.
Finally, don’t forget to ask questions so that you can get a clearer idea of what you’re paying for and better compare your options. Some questions you might want to ask your agent include:
- If your insurance policy pays to have the ring replaced, where are you allowed to purchase that replacement?
- What circumstances are not covered in your policy?
- Does the policy need to have been in place for a certain amount of time before a claim can be made?
- Will the ring’s full value be covered, or only part of it?
- If you need to file a claim for a lost or stolen ring, how will you be required to prove its loss?
- Does the policy cover repairs or partial loss of the ring (such as stones falling out)?
- If a claim is filed, will the company respond to it with a check or will you be required to buy a replacement ring?