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Insure Your Engagement & Wedding Rings

No one wants to imagine losing their engagement or wedding ring, but it does happen. And if the jewelry isn’t properly insured, you’re out of pocket not only the emotional cost but the financial one, too.

Many people assume their rings are covered under their renters, homeowners, or travel insurance policies. This is true, but only in certain situations and only up to a certain dollar amount. For most renters and homeowners policies, proof of burglary must be provided, such as a police report, before the company will reimburse you for the value of the missing ring. But that value must first be established by an appraisal, a special form with detailed description of the ring, and sometimes the original receipt for proof of ownership. If your policy does allow you to make a claim for a lost ring, you may be subject to paying a high deductible first.

As for travel insurance, coverage of lost or missing jewelry is outlined under baggage coverage. But beware, coverage of lost or stolen items has a per-item limit as well as a payout maximum. And if those limits and maximum are lower than the total value of the lost jewelry, you’re out the difference. The up side is if you make a claim, depending on the circumstances of the loss, you might recover the deductible amount.

So what can you do to protect yourself against insufficient coverage?

Take out a special articles rider (sometimes called valuable items coverage) on your homeowners or renters insurance plan. Jewelry coverage will extend up to replacement value and will include loss as well as theft. These kinds of additional policies sometimes have zero deductible when you do make a claim.

Ideally insurance should be applied for the day any jewelry is purchased or inherited, although it will take a few days—usually two to five—of processing before coverage begins. You’ll need a special application, provided by your insurance company, and an appraisal with detailed a description of the jewelry.

Make sure to read your insurance policy regardless of your decision. Some only promise to replace the center stone of a ring, or to replace at wholesale cost and not the retail price you paid. Also see if the policy protects against chipping or losing a stone. It’s better to be prepared than surprised should the worst happen.