Engagement Ring Insurance 101
Putting a policy on your engagement ring may sound unromantic, but nothing's sweeter than peace of mind.
What It Is:
There are a few ways to insure your engagement ring. Ring insurance can be purchased as an extension (also called a "rider") for your renters' or homeowners' policy. Renters' and homeowners' policies cover the stuff in your home, but only up to a certain dollar value: Expensive, special items like engagement rings, art, and electronics are guaranteed through scheduled personal property coverage -- an insurance policy extension that covers particular items. Another option is to insure your ring through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance, which might offer more coverage than a standard homeowners' policy (replacing a lost or stolen ring rather than paying a set amount of cash, for instance).
Who Needs It Most:
Any couple with jewelry that has high material or sentimental value -- whether your wedding and engagement rings cost $500 or $50,000, an insurance policy is a way of honoring not just their financial value but what they represent. The sentiment behind your rings is priceless, but the rings themselves can be replaced -- if they're insured -- in the event that something happens to them.
What to Know About How It Works:
You'll need to provide your receipts, as well as an appraisal (which costs a small fee; you can get an appraisal from a certified gemologist). And remember: If you move after the wedding, make sure your "ring rider" follows you. Some couples have the ring insured at the bride's house (or her parents') before the wedding, but forget to add it to the policy for their new home when they move in together.
If you don't have a renters' or homeowners' policy, there is an alternative way to insure your ring: Certain insurance companies offer policies through jewelers on individual pieces -- ask your jeweler if they work with an insurance company to offer ring insurance. These kinds of policies can vary widely company by company (usually a jeweler will offer a policy that's underwritten by smaller company), so ask specific questions about the level of coverage provided.
Questions To Ask Before You Choose a Policy:
- Is the ring covered if you lose it accidentally, or only if it's stolen?
- How will the company replace the ring -- with a check? Or will they require you to purchase a replacement through a specified jeweler?
- What if it's a vintage ring or other unique piece? How will the quality and size of your diamond -- and that of a replacement if needed -- be documented?
- Is the ring insured to full cost or a fraction of it?
- How will you need to prove the ring vanished if you make a claim?
- Are there any circumstances that aren't covered? (What if your ring flies off at the circus and gets trampled by elephants, for example?)
The yearly cost to insure your ring is $1 to $2 for every $100 that it would cost to replace. In plain English, this means that if your ring would cost $9,000 to replace, you might expect to pay between $90 and $180 per year to insure it -- or slightly more in cities where the risk of theft is higher.
How To Get Your Cost Down:
Buy a vault or safe to keep jewelry in when it's not being worn. (You can also keep paperwork like appraisals in the safe, so you'll always know where it is if needed.)
What To Remember if You Only Remember One Thing:
When you shop for a "ring rider" policy, make sure to read the fine print: A good policy will cover every potentially ring-threatening situation from theft to damage to accidentally dropping it in the garbage disposal.