From the moment you say "yes," chances are you'll be rocking a shiny new addition on your left hand. While it may be the last thing on your mind during such a happy time, with great rings come great responsibilities—including engagement ring insurance.
What Is Engagement Ring Insurance
Engagement ring insurance is a contractual means of risk management to protect you from financial repercussions in the event of physical loss, theft, or damage. The policies typically extend to all jewelry items submitted to the coverage scope and result in either replacement, repair, or cost reimbursement.
What happens if you lose your ring? If someone steals it? If it gets damaged? You don't want anything to happen to that beloved rock. Whether you've left your engagement ring accidentally behind on the beach, lost a stone at the gym, or had your ring stolen, ring insurance can offer financial protection and peace of mind when you need it most. "If you’d be upset if your ring was ever lost, broken, or stolen, then it’s valuable enough to insure," says insurance expert Tyler Krowiorz. "If you think you would be devastated about the sentimental loss, afraid to wear other uninsured jewelry, or unable to cover the cost to replace the item, it would be wise to make sure your engagement or wedding ring is covered by insurance." While anything that happens to your engagement or wedding ring is heartbreaking, knowing it's properly insured can help to soften the blow. Although no two insurance policies are alike, it can be reassuring to know that you have some safeguards and protection against some of the more harrowing possibilities life throws at you. "Jewelers Mutual covers real life with your jewelry," adds Krowiorz. "We realize you can’t always pinpoint how or where your items disappeared, so we cover mysterious disappearance, loss, theft, damage, and worldwide travel."
Meet the Expert
Tyler Krowiorz is the brand marketing manager for Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, a company that has been providing insurance to the jewelry industry since 1913. He has over a decade of experience within the company.
We've compiled a comprehensive guide to engagement ring insurance and asked Krowiorz to weigh in on what it takes to make sure you'll be able to enjoy your ring for years to come—no matter what life throws at your left hand. Here's everything you need to know about getting your wedding rings insured.
Engagement Ring Insurance Cost
"Rate is determined by multiple rating variables and factors (like an auto or home policy) to provide a customized rate based on the individual risk characteristics," notes Krowiorz. The cost of coverage will vary greatly based on several factors including the value of your ring, where you live (and theft rates in the area), and whether or not your policy has a deductible. Premiums will always be higher for policies with lower or no deductibles. Krowiorz adds that insurance typically costs between one to three percent of the value of the item being insured but can be outside this range based on individual risk characteristics. So, on average, you can anticipate to pay $1 to $3 for about every $100 your ring is worth. In theory, then, you can anticipate a premium of $100 to $300 a year for a $10,000 bauble.
Tips for Insuring Your Engagement Ring
Get Engagement Ring Insurance ASAP
Your soon-to-be fiancé (or fiancée) can insure the ring as soon as it's purchased and in their possession—much like you would insure a car prior to driving it off the lot. You might not initially be thinking of anything happening to your precious and sentimental token, but the sooner it's insured, the sooner you'll be protected. Once purchased, you or your partner can begin to shop for ring insurance providers. Krowiorz notes that the timeline can vary depending on the individual case. Coverage can be provided right away (after the application, appraisal, and sales receipts are submitted) or may take an estimated two to four business days if subject to underwriting review.
Choose a Coverage Provider
When it comes to insuring your engagement ring (or other valuable pieces, for that matter), you have two options. If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, you can purchase an extension (also called a rider) that covers your engagement ring specifically. But, there is something to keep in mind. "A jewelry claim filed against your homeowner’s policy could affect your entire policy," notes Krowiorz. "So, if your engagement ring was ever stolen or lost, your premium could go up or your eligibility for your entire homeowner's policy could be affected at renewal." If you don't have homeowner's or renter's insurance you can take out a policy through an independent company that specializes in jewelry insurance like Jewelers Mutual. "We encourage you to trust your home to your homeowner's or renter’s insurance specialists and your jewelry to the jewelry insurance specialists," says Krowiorz. Independent companies like these are also worth a look at if your wedding ring insurance provider doesn't offer the specific coverage you require. "Most homeowner's insurance policies do cover jewelry to some extent, but, in many cases, coverage is limited by situations covered, requirements to use jewelry replacement companies, and coverage value limits," explains Krowiorz.
Be sure to have all of the facts and information when evaluating insurance options, even if you're just choosing to add a rider to the current policy. "Call your homeowner's or renter's insurance and ask for the details of your jewelry coverage—never just assume you’re covered."
Ask the Right Questions
Being adequately informed is of the utmost importance in deciding on which insurance option or provider is best suited to your needs. Make sure to ask a potential policy provider important questions like:
- Can you choose who repairs your ring?
- If you're insured for replacement (instead of a cash payout), where can you purchase a new ring?
- What happens if a suitable replacement cannot be found?
- How will you need to prove the ring vanished if you make a claim?
- Are there any circumstances that aren't covered?
- Will you continue to be insured when out of the country?
- Are you covered for damage or just loss and theft?
- Will the policy adjust according to inflation?
- What types of repairs contribute to the deductible?
"Whenever you insure something valuable, the most important thing you can do is understand your policy thoroughly," says Krowiorz. As you get answers to these questions, you'll have a better sense of which provider can offer the best ring insurance.
Get an Appraisal
You can't protect the value of your ring if you don't know its worth. An appraisal will account for all the key elements of value including carat weight, cut, color, clarity and quantity of diamonds; types of metal and weight; shape and carat weight of other stones; and any distinctive markings, model numbers, or stamps. Current retail prices in the regional market, origin of the materials used, and craftsmanship of the piece are also taken into account. Most insurance companies will require an appraisal for higher value pieces (for example, rings worth $5,000 or more) while an invoice or receipt is sufficient for less expensive items.
"The easiest way to secure a proper appraisal is to do so at the same time you purchase your piece," says Krowiorz. "It assures that current market prices are reflected and that the distinct characteristics are accounted for."
Get a Diamond Certificate or Grading Report
If your center stone is around half a carat or larger, your jeweler will often provide a diamond certificate or grading report from an independent gemological laboratory like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the organization that founded the "4Cs" used to evaluate diamonds: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. This assessment of quality—while not an appraisal—lists all of the measurements your appraiser will need to make the most accurate determination of value. (This detailed information can also help track down your specific diamond if it's ever stolen).
Make Sure Your Appraiser Has the Right Credentials
Find a reputable appraiser with sparkling reviews, preferably one who also holds a graduate degree in gemology and is a member of a national appraisal society. (The GIA recognizes these associations.) And, make sure that the appraisal value is accurate and not inflated. Sure, you might be thrilled when the sparkler that cost your partner $2,000 appraises for double, but you could end up losing money in the long run. You'll pay a higher monthly premium for a ring that appraises for $4,000.
Remember to Reappraise
The good news is your engagement ring was a smart investment. As its value has likely gone up since it was purchased, it's important to have your ring reappraised every two to three years for insurance purposes. Most reputable appraisers will retain a copy of your original appraisal and can work from that instead of starting from scratch (this also helps to cut costs). Just to be sure, bring along a copy of your original appraisal in the event that they don't keep records for that long.
Reevaluate Your Overall Insurance Needs
There might be more to think about than just how to insure engagement rings. As soon-to-be newlyweds, you may want to consider ramping up your insurance coverage to account for expensive or hard-to-replace wedding gifts.
Engagement Ring Insurance FAQs
What is the difference between a premium and a deductible?
A deductible is the out-of-pocket sum you are willing to pay for damages or replacement before the insurance company is involved. The premium is the cost of the insurance, typically billed at a recurring frequency of either annually or (in less common cases) monthly.
Are there any ways to bring the premium cost down?
"The policy is based on individual risk characteristics and rates are adjusted based on facts collected during the application," says Krowiorz. "There are no set discounts for the policy as anytime you make a change to your policy, the premium can refactor." While there may be some opportunities to minimize the cost by reducing potential risk factors (installing a safe in your home, for example), they would need to be discussed with your policy provider.
Can I insure multiple pieces of jewelry?
Of course. You can insure multiple items from the get-go or add new items to the existing policy as you build your personal collection. Your premium will increase with each added piece.
What if my ring is a one-of-a-kind piece or heirloom?
This will depend on your insurance policy and whether you're insured for replacement or a cash payout. Be sure to discuss such nuances with prospective policy providers prior to making your decision.
What if my ring gets upgraded?
"If a piece of jewelry gets upgraded, the customer must send in a new appraisal with the new item description, so they are properly insured," explains Krowiorz. "If you ever must make a claim on your cherished piece of jewelry, an accurate and up-to-date appraisal is the best way to assure you are properly protected for its full value."