Updated: August 2016
Just because you don't own your own home doesn't mean that you don't have nice stuff. If you own expensive jewelry, whether it's a diamond engagement ring or a family heirloom, you may have wondered whether renters insurance
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.
Insurance policies typically come with limits for each type of coverage. For instance, your renters insurance policy may provide $50,000 in coverage for your belongings (described in most policies as personal property). 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.
In either case, the coverage provided by a standard renters insurance policy may or may not be enough to cover what you actually paid for your jewelry or what it's worth on the current market.
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 says. Such records may come in handy in the event that you need to file an insurance claim.
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. Add-on coverage, often referred to as a floater, rider or scheduled personal property, basically helps you insure a specific item — an engagement ring, 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 will not need to pay a deductible for scheduled items before your policy covers a loss. 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.