What kind of insurance will cover my jewelry for theft?

Q:

I own some very valuable items of jewelry and I want to make sure that I am covered if they are ever stolen. What kind of insurance will cover me for jewelry theft?

A:

A standard home insurance policy will typically provide coverage for your jewelry, watches, gems, and furs (learn more in Breaking Down Your Homeowner's Insurance Policy, from Coverage A to E). This category of items, however, is not usually included under your standard personal property limit of insurance. These and other valuable or high risk property is given a special insurance limit (a sublimit) that is lower than your personal property limit (see An Intro to Insurance Sublimits for more details). On a very basic homeowners insurance policy, the limit given to jewelry and watches is between $2,000 and $7,000. This basic limit varies widely based on your insurer so be sure to check your policy documents or ask your agent or broker (Don't have one yet? See Insurance Agents: What's the Point? and What Is an Insurance Broker? to decide who you should deal with).

In general, to increase your coverage in this area, there are two things you can do:

1. Buy an "enhancement" that increases your limit. Insurers typically offer one that doubles your jewelry limit for a premium increase of about $50.

2. Schedule your items. This means recording the specifics of your items with your insurance company and they will provide coverage for that item on top of your standard jewelry limit for an additional premium.

Usually, clients schedule their most expensive pieces of jewelry and leave the rest to be covered under their default limit. But the choice between scheduling and getting an enhancement will depend on how much over the limit you are. Your insurance agent or broker will help you determine the mix that will give you the coverage you need for the lowest premium (consult these 5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Insurance Agent before you decide who to work with).

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Written by Jacques Wong
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Jacques grew up around the insurance industry and began actively participating in 2013. Since then, he has gotten a Level 2 license, won an Insurance Council of BC award in 2015 for academic excellence in the insurance licensing courses and educates insurance professionals through PNC Learning.   Full Bio