Couples often spend thousands on a wedding ring. Coverage of jewelry through renter’s and homeowner's insurance remains limited, though, with most policies paying out a maximum of $1,500 to $2,500 – a fraction of what many would lose in the event that damage or theft befall their rings.
Check Your Current Coverage
Before making any additional policy purchases or changing your insurance, check to see what coverage you already have through your renter’s or homeowner's policy and how that coverage compares to the value of your rings.
For example, your insurance policy may have a personal property limit of $1,000 per item of jewelry. If the value of your ring falls below that threshold, you may not need to purchase any additional coverage. (See also: Making Sure Your Jewelry Is Insured.)
Before checking wedding-ring insurance off your list of nuptial to-dos, though, read through the remainder of the personal property policy. Are there any group limits on your jewelry, i.e. a limit for the collective value of all items in addition to each individual piece? If so, reassess the sufficiency of your coverage compared to the value of what you own.
Get An Appraisal
In addition to providing a definitive value for your rings, an appraisal is often required when purchasing supplemental insurance coverage. Before you go for one, take a look through potential jewelry coverage options to make sure the appraisal you get will adhere to the required guidelines of the insurance company.
To find an appraiser with proper training and credentials in your area, search the directory of the American Gem Society. Be prepared to pay around $50 to $150 per hour for the service. (See also: Introduction To Gemology.)
Consider Coverage Options
If the value of your rings exceeds your current coverage, consider additional insurance options.
You can add an extension or rider to your current renter’s or homeowner's policy, or you can insure your rings through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance. To help you decide between options, read through the fine print of potential policies considering the following:
• What is and isn’t covered? Theft? Damage? Accidental loss?
• How will coverage be provided? Replacement rings? Check? New rings through a specified jeweler?
• Will insurance cover the full value of the rings? How will the value be determined – original cost, initial appraisal or current value?
• What will you need to make a claim?
In addition to these fine-print considerations, compare the costs of the insurance deductible against the coverage. These numbers can differ significantly from company to company and even from policy to policy. (See also: Looking To Insure Your Wedding Ring? Here's How.)
You should speak to an insurance agent to get an exact quote, but expect to pay an annual rate of $1 to $2 for every $100 your ring is worth. The average $5,855 engagement ring for example, would cost around $59 to $118 annually to insure.
Is it worth it? Before answering yes or no, consider other potential costs. How often will you need to have your rings reappraised? Is there a deductible?
You may be able to lower your insurance premiums (while providing additional protection for your rings) by installing a home security system or purchasing a safe or safe deposit box to store your rings when they’re not being worn.
Be sure to keep all corresponding paperwork in a safe place as well. Anything you might need to make a claim – such as appraisals, receipts and photos – should be as protected as the rings themselves.
The Bottom Line
Considering the reported average costs of today's rings, protecting your engagement and wedding rings with insurance is probably a good idea. If you go the more economical route – choosing rings that would be covered under the modest personal property allowance of your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy – then it might be worth forgoing coverage. Accidental loss is generally not covered under these policies, but an inexpensive ring may be cheaper to replace anyway.
Doing your due diligence in combing through the fine print of potential policies and comparing true costs and coverage will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you've done a thorough assessment, whether you opt for a policy or not. (See also: How To Insure Your Wedding Dress.)