Skip to content

Rio Grande Insurance Services Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Insuring Jewelry

A trip down the glittery hall of well-bejeweled fame, if you will:

Coco Chanel ~ “A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.”

Joan Rivers ~ “I don’t exercise. If God had meant for me to bend over, he’d have put diamonds on the floor.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor ~ “I’ve never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back.”

Elizabeth Taylor ~ “Big girls need big diamonds”

These are, admittedly, some old-school examples of the historically female love of things that sparkle, and their love of the men who bought the jewels for them. Today, women buy jewelry for themselves and increasingly men are amping up their own bling to accessorize and make fashion statements. 

We at Rio Grande also have an observation about jewels and jewelry.

Rio Grande insurance Services ~ “No matter how much joy your diamonds and pearls bring you, they are worthless if they are not insured.’

Just ask the Kardashians, who have a habit of being robbed of their multi-million dollar gems.

What do you insure for and for how much? What’s it worth after being worn for a few years? Let us tell you how to do it right. 

Owning valuable pieces of jewelry, a one-of-a-kind watch or heirloom earrings is no fun if you’re afraid to wear them, or, dare we suggest flaunt them. Your wearable art doesn’t even have to be Queen-of-England expensive to want it replaced in case of loss due to fire or theft - or face it, just loss! 

You should know from the outset that many if not most homeowner or renter’s insurance have limitations of $250-$1,250 on valuable items such as art, musical instruments, furs and jewelry. That coverage can be seriously inadequate, especially considering that many such possessions as art and jewels appreciate in value over time. 

To insure these items requires a specific add-on clause known as a “rider”  - or “floater” in the case of small, moveable items - to your existing policy or a separate policy. These take over where your policy ends, usually providing coverage against mysterious disappearance, theft, fire, loss or damage. 

Rio Grande Insurance recommends a Personal Articles Floater, which provides the right coverage for people wishing to schedule items that have been carefully selected and whose values may exceed the limits of the Homeowner Policy or a Valuable Items Plus Endorsement.

Valuable Items Plus Endorsement is the term for the rider that builds on the Travelers homeowner policy, which is broader than a rider on a Homeowner policy. 

If this all sounds confusing - just ask your Rio Grande Insurance agent for more specifics on getting exactly the coverage you need. What you can do now, however, is get prepared. 

When obtaining insurance for your shiny things, do find out:

  • How are claims handled? Are you required to purchase a replacement and then request reimbursement, or will the insurer send a check first?

  • Is the item’s full replacement cost covered? How is that amount determined, especially if the item is custom-made or an irreplaceable antique?

  • Do coverage limits fluctuate with the price of precious metals or gems?

  • How often can/should you submit updated appraisals?

  • What proof of loss or damage will be required?

  • Which exclusions does the policy have? What types of loss and damage are not covered?

Then, before buying that policy, have your items professionally appraised to determine their value for insurance purposes and take pictures of your pieces. 

Once everything is insured, make the most of your coverage and wear your gems fearlessly by doing the following: Keep all your items’ receipts, appraisal paperwork, and photos locked away in a safe (but easily accessible) place and store items securely when you aren’t wearing them.

Be ever-vigilant with your valuables, whether that means monetary or sentimental. Gifts, heirlooms and even unique treasures you’ve purchased for yourself in a memorable place are subject to loss. The personal loss to you may not be mitigated by a monetary reimbursement. 

So, it’s probably not a good idea to wear your most lavish gems when travelling in places where your gut tells you not to, nor to pack them in a suitcase subject to inspection in transit. Make use of hotel room safes for valuables from passports to jewelry and cash.
Feeling secure in your ownership of fine things is what Rio Grande is all about. Our agents are always available to answer your insurance questions. We love to see you shine!