Do you have expensive jewelry lying around at home that you worry could be stolen? Maybe you're concerned about losing it?
If so, you probably should consider extra insurance because your homeowner or rental policy doesn't likely cover the entire cost of replacing your most valuable items.
Here's some advice:
CHECK YOUR POLICY: Find out how much jewelry your homeowner's or renter's policy includes and what circumstances are covered. While it depends on the individual company, most policies cover stolen jewelry, but just $1,000 to $2,000 worth, says Jeanne Salvatore, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute. Homeowner's insurance generally won't cover your misplacing an item.
CONSIDER A FLOATER: If you have items worth more than you're covered for, consider buying an additional policy using a "floater" or "rider" for their replacement cost, which will also cover lost jewelry. For floaters, insurers typically charge a percentage of an item's value and don't levy a deductible.
INSURE THE ITEMS YOU WEAR: Many people think they don't need extra jewelry insurance until they get engaged and own a valuable ring. But Salvatore advises insuring any items you wear regularly because wearing them increases the chance of losing them. She also recommends covering anything worth more than $1,000.
APPRAISE EVERYTHING: Before taking out an additional policy, have your jewelry appraised so you insure it for the right amount. The appraisal should include an in-depth description of the article with photographs.
Keep in mind that the appraisal doesn't guarantee the value will remain the same in coming years. So it's good to have jewelry appraised every several years, especially given inflation and fluctuating prices for gold, silver and diamonds.
You can find jewelry appraisers in your area on the American Gem Society's Web site, americangemsociety.org. You also can get referral from the American Society of Appraisers at appraisers.org or take your pieces to a jewelry store you trust.
DOCUMENT AND GUARD YOUR ASSETS: Document everything you have insured and hold on to the receipts for both your jewelry and your appraisals, then make photocopies of all those papers and keep them someplace separate.