Jewelry insurance can provide protection for rings, necklaces, earrings, watches, and other fine pieces, but a critical component of jewelry insurance is a professional appraisal. Learn why and what to expect when appraising and insuring your jewelry, no matter if a single engagement ring or an extensive collection.
Why Jewelry Should be Appraised
An Appraisal Determines an Objective Beholder
While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, the value can be determined through a more objective means. Value is determined based on specific criteria that affect how much someone might pay for a piece. An appraiser is a professional who understands these criteria and can perform an objective assessment of what a piece would likely sell for if made available to the general public.
For example, many factors affect the value of a diamond. The diamond’s color, clarity, carat (size), cut, fluorescence, and shape are just some of the variables that must be considered. The difference in a single grade of these variables can result in a 5 to 30 percent change in value. A professional appraiser will understand the relevant value-affecting factors and know how to assess them in a piece to ascertain the piece’s value.
A diamond is just one example. Qualified appraisers can assess the values of other gemstones, precious metals, collectible pieces, and just about any other jewelry you might own.
When choosing an appraiser, it’s important to select someone who doesn’t just claim to know the market but has credentials to back up their expertise. A suitable qualification, to begin with, is certification from the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, which offers several certification programs.
A certified appraiser’s objective opinion will generally be grounded on the relevant criteria and respected by others -- including insurance companies.
Appraisals Show How Much Jewelry Insurance You Need
Once you have an appraisal for your jewelry, you’ll know how much coverage is needed. A diamond ring that’s appraised at $3,000 will be listed on the jewelry policy (aka jewelry schedule) for $3,000.
It is not uncommon to have the appraisal price be higher than the purchase price. Though frustrating, this can help on insuring your jewelry properly as it provides some cushion should you not get your jewelry appraised regularly (every few years.)
It is best to have each piece appraised individually with specific details listed. The insurance company will often require that a copy of the appraisal be provided for their records.
Appraisals Help When Filing Jewelry Claims
Should you ever need to file a claim against a jewelry policy or schedule, the appraisal is critical. A benefit is that you and the insurance company agreed on the insurance amount before a claim, in writing, and by an objective jewelry professional.
However, keep in mind that just because the jewelry is insured up to a specific limit does not mean that the insurance company will cut you a check for this amount.
An insurance company will typically cover the item for the least of the following amounts:
- The ACV
- The amount for which the item could reasonably be repaired/replaced
- The amount of coverage indicated
The purpose of insurance is to make you whole again, which unfortunately can not include sentimentality.
When You May Not Need an Appraisal
If you have a lot of smaller jewelry items (with values typically less than $1,000 each), you may be able to cover such items under a jewelry blanket. An appraisal is not required, which makes it easier to manage. Though easier to manage, you would still need to know about the jewelry included in the blanket because how else could you have the insurance company replace the item if you needed to file a claim?
It is also worth noting that not every insurance company offers this coverage, but it is worth asking your insurance agent.
Get Help Insuring Jewelry in New Hampshire
If you need help insuring jewelry, contact the independent insurance agents at HPM Insurance. Our agents have worked with many state residents who had valuable jewelry pieces to protect, and we’re here to assist you with jewelry insurance as well