Homeowners insurance: Is your jewelry covered against loss?

$1000? $1500? $2500? What’s covered, What’s not, and how much is it covered for? Let’s put some of these “guesses” aside and lay out the coverages for Jewelry under a homeowner’s policy.

First, not all homeowner’s policies provide coverage for jewelry. There are several different standard “ISO” policy formats on which almost all residential property insurance policies are based. The most basic “fire” policies cover only limited specifically named perils (causes of loss) to the dwelling structure itself. As there is no coverage provided for any articles of personal property, accordingly, there would be no coverage for jewelry under these policies.

Second, those polices that DO provide coverage DO NOT all contain the same “limit” for jewelry, nor do they contain the same type of coverage.

POLICY $$ LIMITS

Keep in mind that each insurance company can “adjust” their policy from the standard forms, to change numbers and conditions. Some insurers write their own policies, loosely based on the ISO forms. The point is there is not one standard, by which all policies are exactly the same -as long as the policy conforms to state law, the insurance company can write it any way they want.

Under a standard HO-3 policy, the default language will often specify that the policy provides coverage for jewelry with limits of $1000 for any one item, with a maximum of $1500 for all jewelry in a single loss.

How does that work? – Let’s assume you have a deductible of $500 on your HO-3 policy.

Now, if someone burgles your home and takes a $1000 diamond ring, the insurance would pay $500 ($1000 value of stolen ring, less $500 deductible) for the stolen ring.

If some burgles your home and takes your $1500.00 ring, the insurance would pay $1000.00 for the stolen ring ($1000 limit for single piece of jewelry – the deductible is “waived” or applied to the loss in excess of the policy limit).

If someone burgles your home and takes a $3000.00 ring and a $250 pair of earrings, the insurance pays $1250.00 ($1000.00 single piece limit, $250 for the earrings, and the deductible is “waived” or applied to the loss ins excess of the policy limit)

If, however someone takes the jewelry box with $5000.00 worth of miscellaneous jewelry, then insurance pays the $1500.00 limit and the deductible is “waived.”

INCREASING THE LIMITS – With most insurers you can get an special blanket “increased jewelry loss” endorsement to the policy which increases the limits.