Is jewelry protected by renters insurance?
Last updated: January 1
If you own expensive jewelry, whether it's a diamond engagement ring, a family heirloom or a watch, you may have wondered whether renters insurance covers it.
When it comes to your belongings, it's important to understand what types of risks your renters insurance protects against and how much coverage it provides. In some cases, you may decide that it's worth putting extra protection in place. Here are some things to consider.
What types of jewelry are covered?
The personal property coverage in a renters insurance policy may help pay to repair or replace belongings, including watches and rings, if they are stolen or damaged by a covered peril, such as a fire. Keep in mind that a coverage limit, which is the maximum a policy reimburses you for a covered claim, will apply. Certain items, including jewelry, often have lower coverage limits. Your deductible will usually be subtracted from the amount you're reimbursed for a covered claim.
Watches and jewelry generally won't be covered if you lose them or they are damaged due to wear and tear. Read your policy to learn what risks it covers.
Insurance for a diamond ring
Renters insurance may help protect a diamond ring, up to the limits stated in your policy, if it is stolen or damaged by a covered peril. Keep in mind that the ring needs to be insured by its current owner. For instance, if someone buys an engagement ring and is in possession of it before proposing, the insurance needs to be in the purchaser's name. But once the ring is given to another person, it needs to be covered by the recipient's policy.
As with other belongings, a diamond ring would typically not be covered by renters insurance if it was lost. Read your policy to learn what risks it covers.
Can you insure a watch?
Coverage for a watch works similarly to coverage for other jewelry when it comes to renters insurance. Read your policy or talk with your agent so you understand how much coverage you have on items like jewelry or watches.
Read on to learn more about how personal property coverage limits work for jewelry like rings and watches, and how purchasing extra coverage might offer greater protection.
Personal property coverage limits
Insurance policies typically come with limits for each type of coverage. For instance, the personal property coverage on your renters insurance policy may have a $50,000 limit (but check your policy to make sure you know what your own specific limits are). That means that if your belongings were damaged or destroyed by a covered peril, your policy may pay up to $50,000 to help you replace your stuff. However, renters insurance policies usually include sub-limits for certain types of items, such as jewelry.
That means that while you may have up to $50,000 in coverage to help pay to replace your belongings if they are stolen, for instance, you may find that your policy provides only $1,000 in coverage for theft of jewelry. Some insurers may set a "group" coverage limit for an entire category of valuables — for example, a maximum of $2,500 for all of your jewelry.
For this reason, it's important to document how much your jewelry is worth so that you can make sure you have enough coverage in place. Documents like receipts and appraisals are good ways to track the value of your belongings, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says. Such records may come in handy in the event that you need to file an insurance claim.
Additional insurance coverage for jewelry
If you find that a standard renters insurance policy doesn't provide enough coverage for your jewelry, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.
Some insurers offer optional extended protection for certain valuations, including jewelry and watches. You may find that this type of protection provides coverage for a greater number of risks. You'd typically need to pay your deductible before coverage kicks in, and coverage is typically capped at a certain amount for each item (for instance, up to $1,000 in coverage per piece of jewelry). Your agent can explain the details of this type of coverage so you can decide if it makes sense for you.
Another type of additional coverage is often referred to as a floater or rider. Scheduled personal property coverage is an example of this type of protection. Scheduled personal property coverage basically helps you insure a specific item — an engagement ring or expensive watch, for instance — for its documented value.
To purchase scheduled personal property coverage, you'll typically need to have each piece of jewelry you want to insure professionally appraised, according to the III.
In addition to increasing your coverage limit for jewelry, scheduled items may also be protected against risks that a standard renters insurance policy doesn't cover. For instance, you'll typically find that scheduled personal property coverage covers an item if it's lost — left behind at a hotel, or dropped down a drain, for example — which a typical renters insurance policy may not cover.
You'll also typically find that you can choose to purchase scheduled personal property coverage without a deductible. Meanwhile, you would likely have to pay your deductible before a standard renters insurance policy kicks in to help cover a loss.
A local agent can help you assess your renters insurance coverage so you can determine whether it offers enough protection for your jewelry or whether you may benefit from additional coverage.