Private Risk

Tailor-Made Insurance Coverage for Your Personal Belongings

Madelyn Newland
Madelyn Newland
Client Executive, Property Casualty

Try this number on for size: $5,795. Any idea what that is the average cost of? If you said an engagement ring, you’d be right. The average engagement ring costs $5,795. That’s a pretty penny…or a lot of pretty pennies…and every bit of it is worth insuring.

So, with that in mind, I want to use this blog to not only talk about rings…but jewelry (in general), artwork, wine, and collections. All are high value, and all are worth talking about as they relate to not only insurance but appraisals.

Key Points for Insuring High-Value Items

If you itemize specific, high-value items on your homeowners policy or valuable articles policy, then a claim is not subject to a deductible. Most homeowners policies will include limited coverage for these types of valuable items.

Another benefit to scheduling your high-value items on a valuable articles policy is that it broadens the coverage. It will include coverage if your item is stolen, lost, or misplaced. Seems like it’s worth it, right?! Taking it a step further, affluent carriers will offer pair or set coverage, which will replace a pair of earrings even if only one was lost.

When it comes to travel, certain insurance companies will offer coverage worldwide when you are traveling, but others will only cover your valuable items in the United States. That’s something to make note of as you look for proper coverage.

Getting Your Valuables Appraised

Now, how much should you insure these items for?

It may be an item you inherited or have had for a long time, so that might be hard to quantify. The answer is to get an appraisal from a third party who does not have an active interest in purchasing your item.

Basics for Jewelry Appraisals

Look for a graduate gemologist or a diamond gemologist to do the appraisal. Make sure the appraisal includes:

  • the type of jewelry
  • what it is made of
  • the type of gemstones
  • how they’re graded
  • appraiser’s signature/date

After you’ve gotten the item appraised, you’ll want to make a note for the future. Most carriers recommend getting a new jewelry appraisal every 3-5 years.

Appraising Artwork for Insurance

When it comes to art insurers, there are key things you should look for. The insurer should offer:

  • Automatic coverage for newly acquired items for the first 90 days
  • Inflation coverage for artwork
  • Insurance company gives you the option to replace or repair the item

Now that You Are Insured, How Do You Avoid Claims?

Great question. Storage and safety are key to avoiding claims!

Tips to avoiding claims for jewelry:

  • Place valuables in an in-home safe
  • Have a central reporting burglar alarm
  • Keep track of all scheduled jewelry

Tips for avoiding claims for artwork:

  • Display artwork away from HVAC vents, sprinkler heads, underneath a bathroom, or appliances
  • Display art away from high traffic areas in the home
  • Hire only reputable companies that specialize in artwork transfer
  • Hire professional artwork installers to hang artwork

If you have questions, reach out to us! Holmes Murphy is able to handle large jewelry, artwork, and collections policies. We can tailor our process with what works best for you. Or, we can just answer any questions you have. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Explore more from Holmes Murphy