Should you insure your wedding ring? It certainly doesn't sound as fun as planning the honeymoon. But when it comes to wedding jewelry—engagement rings and wedding bands—securing sufficient protection can prove as essential as any other wedding-related task.
The average sum spent on engagement rings varies—anywhere from $5,680 to $7,829 in 2018, depending on the survey—but safe to say, it's in the healthy four figures. Add in the cost of wedding bands for both the bride and groom and it’s clear that the average $1,500 to $2,500 of jewelry coverage offered by standard renter’s and homeowners insurance isn't going to cut it for your carats.
- You need special insurance; couples spend thousands of dollars on engagement and wedding rings, but the limited coverage of renter’s or homeowners insurance often offers just a fraction of an item's worth.
- Options for insuring expensive wedding jewelry include adding a rider itemizing the pieces to a current homeowner's policy and buying a separate insurance policy.
- Those who elect to acquire added coverage should know the finer points of the new policy, including what is and isn’t covered, the form reimbursement will take, and how the value of a ring will be determined.
Check Your Current Coverage
While jewelry is included in the renters and homeowners insurance policies that cover the value of items in your home, coverage for it only goes up to a certain dollar limit. There may be group limits on your jewelry, i.e., a limit for the collective value of all items. Circumstances such as loss and damage may not be included. And, in most cases, it'll be subject to a deductible before you receive any reimbursement.
Engagement and wedding rings can be covered more comprehensively with the purchase of a rider or floater, or some sort of extension to your current policy—also called “scheduling property.” Scheduled personal property goes over and above the typical renters or homeowners policy so that the full value of the designated, high-priced item is covered in the event of a claim. Generally, you do not pay a deductible on a scheduled item.
The simplest step would be to add a floater itemizing your jewelry to your existing insurance policy. However, if you don’t have a renter’s or homeowners policy—or the coverage offered through your existing provider doesn't meet your needs—you can purchase a separate policy specifically for your rings. Your jeweler might recommend a certain insurer. If not, shop around to find an insurance company, perhaps a specialist in jewelry coverage.
Read the Fine Print on Potential Policies
When it comes to choosing a provider and policy for your ring insurance, the fine print matters. Here’s what to consider:
A good policy should cover all contingencies, from theft to damage to an accidental drop down the garbage disposal. Make special note of any circumstance that isn’t covered.
How will the insurance company replace your rings? Will it try to find a replacement for you? Would you have to obtain it at a certain jeweler? Can you just opt to receive a check as compensation? Will repairs or partial loss be covered? Evaluate the replacement policy against both your financial and sentimental concerns.
Assessment of value
This is key. How will the insurance provider assess the value of your ring for reimbursement? Will it use the current appraisal value or will it only consider the original purchase price?
Note all of the required paperwork for your policy so that should you need to file a claim, everything is readily available. These documents typically include receipts, photos, and up-to-date appraisals.
Speaking of which…
Get an Appraisal
An appraisal of your ring is often required when purchasing supplemental insurance coverage. The store that sold it might provide one, but if a lot of time has gone by since the purchase, you'll need to get an independent appraisal (and some insurers prefer that, anyway).
A professional jewelry appraisal can help to verify facts about the ring while also assessing its value for insurance purposes. You can ask the jeweler for recommendations. The American Gem Society has a directory of qualified professionals that can be searched by zip code. Appraisal rates range from $50 to $150 an hour.
Consider Coverage Options
It’s important to compare not just the cost of one insurance provider to another, but also the relative cost to the relative coverage, as both vary greatly from provider to provider and even from policy to policy.
The general rule for insuring wedding and engagement rings is $1 to $2 for every $100 of value, paid annually. A $5,855 ring, for example, would cost around $59 to $118 per year to insure. If you live in a city where the risk of theft is higher, you can expect to pay a bit more for your coverage. However, insurance companies may lower premiums for those willing to install a home security system, purchase a safe, or rent a safe deposit box in which to store rings when they aren't being worn.
In addition, some policies have deductibles; others don’t. Those without deductibles tend to have higher premiums, but they'll reimburse more fully and with less fuss. In the case of a deductible policy, look to see which types of repairs can affect your coverage costs.
After you’ve combed through the policy fine print, assessed the value of your rings, and compared relative costs, you should have enough information to choose an insurance policy that meets your needs. Don’t wait too long to secure coverage, though. You’ll want to make sure you’re protected in the event that anything happens in the days after your purchase or receipt of the ring.
Price of the average engagement ring in 2018, according to Brides' American Wedding Study.
Once You’re Insured
Keep all insurance-related documents in a safe, secure, and dry place. By this point, you should be familiar enough with the details of your policy to know exactly what documentation you need to keep on file—a written appraisal, ring receipts, photos, gem certificates, etc. Also, make sure that any policy details you’ve discussed with your insurance agent are included in the paperwork. All promises need written documentation.
Values of precious metals and fine jewels change frequently. Consider having an appraisal done every two to three years—even if your insurance policy doesn't require regular appraisals—to ensure that your insurance coverage is still adequate. Keeping an evaluation up-to-date is particularly important for vintage, antique, and/or collectible rings. Bring a copy of your original or most recent appraisal, so that your appraiser can work from that rather than starting from scratch, helping to save time and your costs.
The Bottom Line
Given the high average cost of wedding rings, acquiring insurance is a prudent move. If your jewelry is adequately covered under the modest personal property allowance of your current renter's or homeowners insurance, that's fine. But if not, how and where you decide to insure your wedding rings will depend largely on your specific needs and assessments of value. By doing your due diligence in combing through the fine print of potential policies and comparing true costs and coverage, you can ensure you’ve made a proper assessment in protecting jewelry that has both monetary and emotional value.