Ahhh, Valentine’s Day! A day that brings forth images of love and devotion and often sparkly new jewelry! You may be caught up in all the love feels of the day, but it’s important to remember to protect those tokens of your affection against loss or theft! Let’s take a look at how to protect your jewelry and avoid a broken heart.
- Ensure you are insured properly! Did you know that your homeowners/renters policy provides limited coverage for the theft or loss due to covered peril (if you have a house fire) of jewelry by default? Generally, it’s limited to about $1000 total* (ie if you had $3,250 of watches and jewelry stolen, you would only be covered for $1500 less your deductible). BUT if you have high-value items, you can “schedule” them on your policy for a fee. Your agent will review your valuables with you and request that you provide appraisals for each of the items. These items are then listed (scheduled) on the policy and are covered for their appraised value against BOTH theft and loss.
- LOCK IT UP! Most people simply store their jewelry in a jewelry box that they have on their dresser or in a drawer. This is fine for your everyday jewelry, but not for those pieces that have value. Thieves look to those boxes and drawers first, so for your valuable items, Property Casualty 360º recommends installing a fire-proof, waterproof safe in a hidden location for items you wear regularly or a safe deposit box for your heirlooms or pieces you may only wear once in a while.
- Know your worth. Precious metals and gems can increase in value over time, so you should have a certified jeweler appraise your pieces every three to five years, and provide an updated copy to your agent.
- Who’s there? If you have people regularly working in your home (cleaners, contractors, nannies, etc.) be sure that you have conducted a complete background check on them and have checked their references. Numerous thefts of valuables have been in the news lately perpetrated by household employees.
- Watch for snags! Gloves, dancing with your hands in the air, removing a turtleneck or scarf can cause your jewelry to go flying through the air with the greatest of ease with you totally unaware! So take your time and slow down when moving about. When I wear a ring that is elevated, I will flip it toward my palm when I put on gloves, this makes it less likely to snag when removing the gloves and serves as a tactile reminder that the ring is there because now I have to flip it back around. And make sure your jewelry fits properly, a loose ring can be flung far and wide without you realizing it.
- Keepsake…keep safe. There are many reasons you may take off jewelry you wear every day. I have many friends that have jobs that sometimes require they work with their hands, or when they are at the gym, washing dishes, etc. so they remove their rings, watches, bracelets, etc. It’s recommended that you NOT store these in your pockets, it’s far too easy to forget they are in the pocket and it can easily fall out or even go through the wash cycle causing damage or loss (the piece may go to the land of lost socks!). If you have items you wear all the time but regularly removed them daily, have a pouch or dish you place them in all the time. And when you are washing dishes, don’t leave them near the sink, in the sudsy flurry you could lose the piece down the drain!
- Check…check…1…2…check! It’s a good idea to have your pieces inspected yearly, especially items you wear regularly. Prongs, clasps, bands, and settings can become loose or worn over time and having regular inspections can catch an issue before that bauble goes missing or the diamond jumps out of it’s setting.
Okay, so you’ve found the perfect piece that speaks what your heart feels, let’s make sure you protect it for eternity. If you have any questions about whether you need to add that sparkler to your policy, please give us a call, we’re always happy to answer your questions.
*Coverage limits vary from carrier to carrier.