Congratulations on your engagement! Not to seem unromantic, but is that sparkle on your finger insured yet? You’re probably not even thinking about engagement ring insurance right now, but it’s a good idea. How would you feel if you flushed it, chipped it, scratched it, smashed it, lost it, or had it stolen or eaten by the dog? It does happen. You can give yourself peace of mind, and protect your beloved’s financial investment, by choosing an insurance policy that works best for you. Thankfully, it may be easier and cheaper than you think. Here are the top 5 questions to ask yourself before or as you embark on the process of how to insure your engagement ring.
1. How Much is Engagement Ring Insurance?
The annual cost of insuring an engagement ring is typically 1 – 2% of the ring’s value. For example, if the value of the ring is $5,000, then it could cost $50 – $100 per year to insure it. We’ll come back to the ring’s value in a moment.
Your location can also impact your annual insurance premium. So can your deductible. An insurance company may have a fixed deductible or let you choose from a $0 deductible up to a $25,000 deductible. As with other types of insurance coverage, the higher your deductible (the amount you’re willing to pay before the insurance provider does), the lower your annual cost.
2. What Does the “Appraised Value of a Ring” Mean?
This is not the ring’s price. It’s a document that assigns a value to your ring and includes important product details—the ring description, type of metal, stone quality, and the diamond carat weight—not found in the sales receipt. Some insurance companies may require an appraisal, while others may require one for a ring worth more than $5,000. (If an appraisal is not required, the sales receipt will be.)
It’s important to get a good but fairly-accurate appraisal. If your ring’s value is overinflated, you’ll pay a lot more in annual insurance premiums. So how do you find an engagement ring appraiser? The jewelry store that sold the ring may have an on-site appraiser.
If not, you can find one in your area using the American Gem Society or American Society of Appraisers. Typically, the cost is $50 – $150 per hour or per item. It’s wise to wait and watch your ring appraisal being done, which typically takes 15 – 30 minutes. You’ll usually receive the appraisal document by email or mail within one to two weeks. (If your ring was purchased at Blue Nile, an appraisal is included in the purchase, so ask your sweetie for a copy of it.)
For accuracy, an insurance company may require your ring appraisal document to be dated within the past five years or less. The timeframe varies by company. Even if the insurance company doesn’t require a reappraisal to keep your insurance valid, it’s a smart idea to get this done every two to five years to ensure your ring has proper coverage.
3. Where Can I Insure My Ring?
There are two types of companies that will insure your ring: homeowners insurance and jewelry insurance. But there are advantages and disadvantages to each.
Homeowners Insurance Companies
Typically, a standard homeowners policy (or renters insurance policy) does not fully insure an engagement ring. It might not cover beyond a certain dollar amount or for certain reasons such as a lost ring. But it’s easy to request an add-on, sometimes called a “rider” or “scheduled personal property coverage extension.”
It’s also convenient to have all of your insurance with one company, especially in the case of theft or a natural disaster striking your home. Plus, you may want to add expensive items such as heirlooms or other pieces of jewelry.
Now for the bad news. A filed ring insurance claim may impact the cost of your other policies. Or, the company might require that you use a jewelry store of their choice for repair or replacement. Read the fine print before you sign the contract to determine if it’s a dealbreaker.
If you happen to be shopping for home or renters insurance quotes already, note that State Farm Indemnity Company has an A- (Excellent) rating and Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club (AAA) has an A+ (Superior) rating, according to AM Best Credit Ratings, Or, you can contact your current insurance agent to ask for a quote.
Jewelry Insurance Companies
For a standalone policy on your engagement or wedding ring, check out jewelry insurance companies. Some of these companies have a longstanding history in favorable policy terms, from a high-coverage limit to covering “mysterious disappearance” which is a loss that cannot be identified.
Note: Some homeowners insurance companies might cover theft loss but not unidentified loss.
In some cases, a jewelry insurance company is a better option if it covers a wider variety of loss or damage situations than your homeowners insurance company, or if it doesn’t restrict which jewelers you can go to for repair or maintenance. But one potential disadvantage is needing to manage yet another relationship and bill in your already busy life. Homeowner insurance has come a long way and your company’s coverage may be comparable to a standalone policy from a jewelry insurance company.
If you’d like a quote, note that AM Best Credit Ratings gives Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company an A+ (Superior) rating and Lavalier (Berkley National Insurance Company) an A+ (Superior) rating. You can Google other companies and their consumer or business ratings, as well.
4. What Does Engagement Ring Insurance Cover?
This is the 4-carat question. Honestly, we don’t expect you to research a lot of insurance companies while your brain is dancing with wedding planning ideas. Get a quote from your current homeowners insurance company, and one jewelry insurance company, and you’ll be off to a great start.
But knowing which questions to ask and what to look for in the fine print will ultimately help you choose the best policy for your lifestyle and risk tolerance. Here are key questions to ask about ring insurance coverage:
- What do you need to determine the value of my engagement ring and coverage?
- What’s the process and coverage for adding wedding rings?
- Is there a waiting period before the ring is fully covered?
- Do you cover damage, theft, and/or loss?
- Do you cover international travel?
- Do you cover loss or damage from natural disasters?
- What’s not covered?
- Is there a policy cancellation fee or minimum contract length?
- What can I do to reduce my annual premium?
- What’s the process for filing a claim?
- Can I choose my own jeweler for ring repair or replacement?
- How is the claim reimbursement distributed?
- How will a filed claim impact my policy?
Once you have a quote and the answers to these questions, you might change some of your options, such as a higher or lower deductible, to get an annual premium that makes you happy. Or, you might realize another jewelry insurance policy is a better fit for you.
5. When Should I Insure My Engagement Ring?
As soon as possible. The ring-giver usually has limited coverage under their homeowners or renters policy, or none at all, while the ring is in their possession. As soon as the receiver has possession of it, it’s up to that person to quickly insure it if they’re not already living at the same address as the giver (assuming the giver has a homeowner policy that includes some sort of engagement ring coverage).
If you’re not used to wearing a diamond ring every day, you might be surprised by how easy it is to bump it against something or, worse, lose it. Uninsured damage or loss to the most priceless piece of jewelry you’ll ever own is certainly not something you want to worry about. After all, you probably have your hands full thinking about how to announce your engagement or maybe even fun and creative engagement party ideas. So get your ring insured now, and then let that dreaming and planning continue.
Catherine Seda is a marketing strategist, author and freelance writer. In the wedding industry, she has worked with invitation brands, bridal salons and bridal gown designers. Catherine discovered her love for weddings while planning her own—a DIY “Pirates of the Caribbean” destination wedding in a Napa Valley wine cave, and a swanky 1960’s local reception with a band and “Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin” impersonators.