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R&R Insurance Blog

Will My Homeowner's Policy Cover My Jewelry?

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

Most homeowners policies limit coverage for personal valuables, and you could fall far short of replacement value if your item is lost or stolen. In order to avoid a gap in coverage, you need to add a low-cost insurance rider to protect jewelry and other valuables.

A Basic Homeowners Insurance policy generally covers your possessions for up to 50% of your total coverage. So if you insure your home for $300,000, your home furnishings and personal property would be insured for as much as $150,000.

However most policies place limits on specific kinds of items — promising to pay a maximum of approximately $1,500 to $2,500 for all of your jewelry in the event of damage or theft. Other categories that usually have reimbursement limits include silver flatware, firearms, coins, stamps and furs. (Read the “contents and additional coverage” section of your policy for the details.) Accidental loss is generally not covered if the item is not scheduled.

To raise your coverage limit for your valuables and ensure that you’re protected in case of loss as well as theft, you will need to add a rider or “schedule” the item. (You may need a written appraisal, although a detailed receipt may suffice.) Once you set a value and schedule the item, you’re covered for the full amount if it is lost, stolen or destroyed. Scheduling your jewelry, collectibles and fine art will make the claims experience a lot easier. Plus, there’s no deductible for scheduled items. So if you lose your engagement ring without having it “scheduled”, you’re not out of luck.

Scheduling your jewelry is inexpensive. Average costs are around 85 cents per $100 of coverage for jewelry kept at home and 35 cents per $100 for items kept in a vault. (Actual prices vary by company and geographical location.) Revisit your coverage levels frequently. We recommend that if you do schedule items on your policy, that you periodically get them reappraised to ensure a proper and up to date value. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to have the jeweler check for loose or damaged settings and stones at the time the item is reappraised.

Here's some help on finding an appraiser:
How to Choose a Professional Jewelry Appraiser

Topics: Personal Insurance, lost engagement ring, is my jewelry covered?, homeowners insurance cover jewelry, jewelry covered on insurance

Dog Coughs Up Lost Wedding Ring: What Happens to Recovered Property?

Posted by Brian Bean

dog ate wedding ringYou may have seen the news story on June 30, 2014 about a Stevens Point woman who lost her wedding ring five or six years ago. She searched everywhere, but could not find it.

 

Last week the woman’s granddaughter was eating a popsicle when the dog stole and ate it. The dog coughed up the popsicle stick shortly afterwards. Two days later the dog started coughing up again and threw up the wedding ring that had been missing for the last 6 years. The veterinarian believes that the stick dislodged the ring from the dog’s stomach.

 

Other than being an interesting story that captured some national headlines, the whole incident brings up some insurance issues:

  • First, the woman comments that six years ago she had just upgraded the ring and had failed to insure it. This highlights the importance of obtaining a personal articles floater to cover valuable items.
  • Secondly, let’s assume that she had insured the ring and the insurance company paid her for the loss six years ago. Now that the ring has been recovered, what should the woman do?

 

Most policies are very clear: she must report the ring’s recovery to the insurance company that paid for the loss. The insurance company owns the salvage value of the recovered ring.

 

Nearly every property insurance policy, whether it is Homeowners, Business Property, Inland Marine, commercial or personal automobile policy, has a Recovered Property Condition in some form.

 

The Recovered Property Condition states that if either you, or your insurance company, recover the property after a loss settlement, then you must promptly notify the other party.

 

You have the option of retaining the recovered property. However, you must return payment to your insurance carrier. The insurance company will pay for recovery expenses and the expenses to repair the property subject to the Limit of Insurance.

 

If you decide that you do not want the recovered property, then your insurance company will sell the property to recoup some of the loss.

 

Over my years of handling claims, I have seen this process play out with recovered jewelry, stolen bikes, cars, and construction equipment.

 

Luckily, this story had a happy ending even though the woman had an extensive cleaning job to do.

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Topics: Wisconsin, Personal Insurance, protecting your jewelry, Real Life Examples, Dog swallows wedding ring, is my jewelry covered?, schedule your jewelry, Lost jewelry, homeowners, homeowners insurance, Recovered Property Condition