ENGAGEMENT RING INSURANCE — MAY NOT BE SEXY, BUT IT SURE IS SMART
Life admin is something I’m usually pretty good at. But when it came time to looking into engagement ring insurance, I always found ways to let this tedious task slide waaaay down the bottom of my to-do list.
It wasn’t until I was trading weekend stories with my personal trainer & he began sharing details of his fiancé losing her ring during their Saturday morning shop, that I thought, “Alrighty Sam, it’s time to get this s#@t sorted!”
Full disclosure m’love: this post is unlikely to set your heart on fire…unless you count insurance as one of your passions! But hopefully, it does save you a few hours of research so you have more time to get amongst the things that do light you up.
Sound good? Perfect, let’s dive in!
Today I’ll be sharing with you the 3 questions to help you decide if engagement ring insurance is something you need, as well as the 5 steps to taking out a policy (if that’s the path you decide to go down).
“Insurance can bring you beautiful peace of mind — but it’s only going to be a worthwhile investment if it’s mitigating a risk that you feel is worth protecting against.”
3 questions to help you decide if engagement ring insurance is for you
1. How much do you value your engagement ring?
Rather than start with what your engagement ring is worth financially, I invite you to think about what it means to you. Is it something you treasure? How much significance do you place in it? How upset would you (and your fiancé) be if it were lost or stolen?
For me, I love my ring. Whenever I look down at it I get flashes of the holiday my husband (Matt) & I were on when we got engaged; of the day my mum worked her negotiating-magic with the jeweller; as well as the moment I first saw Matt on our wedding day. My engagement ring acts like a talisman, storing a bundle of memories we share.
In contrast, I have a girlfriend who adores what her engagement ring symbolises, but doesn’t feel an emotional connection to it beyond that. For she & her hubby, they would rather spend the $500+ it would cost them a year in engagement ring insurance, on travel & other adventures.
Insurance can bring you beautiful peace of mind — but it’s only going to be a worthwhile investment if it’s mitigating a risk that you feel is worth protecting against.
“To get a true picture of what your current home & contents insurance covers, pull up a copy of your Product & Disclosure Statement, paying particular attention to the following…”
2. What cover does your current home & contents insurance provide?
If you & your fiancé are anything like Matt & I, you probably already have a fairly standard home & contents policy in place. Our policy covers theft or an unfortunate event like a fire or flood at our home. But on closer inspection, I found it wouldn’t help us if, like my PT’s fiancé, I lost my engagement ring in the fruit + veg section of Coles.
Equally, my ring wasn’t currently listed as ‘specified content’ on our policy. So the most that would be paid out if we ever made a claim for theft or any other insured event was $1,000.
Digging a little deeper into the Product & Disclosure Statement (which yes — was just as sexy as it sounds!) I discovered that we could do 2 things to give us better protection. First, we could list my engagement ring as ‘specified content’ & apply for an increase to the payout limit. Second, we could elect to take out ‘extra cover for portable items’, like my ring, to protect again what I now lovingly refer to as ‘the PT scenario’.
Going down this route, we would need to provide our insurer with a valuation certificate (which I’ll give you the lowdown on soon) & be prepared to pay a higher annual premium.
To get a true picture of what your current home & contents insurance covers, pull up a copy of your Product & Disclosure Statement, paying particular attention to the following:
- Where your insurer covers your contents (i.e. just at your address, or home + away)
- What contents your insurer will cover (Hint: Look for ‘jewellery’ in this list)
- What events you are currently insured against (e.g. flood, storm, fire, theft)
- The most they will pay for a jewellery claim (Hint: ‘Fixed limits’ as well as ‘flexible limits’ are good search terms here)
- Whether there’s an option to increase your jewellery claim limit & what this increase will cost you (Hint: A search for ‘specified item’ or ‘specified content’ may help)
- Whether there is an option to add accidental loss or damage of your jewellery to your cover
Now you have a better sense of where you currently stand, you’ll be better equipped to chat with your fiancé about whether it’s a good time to adjust your policy.
3. How often do you travel?
For Matt & I, our decision to keep our current home & contents insurance as is and take out a separate jewellery insurance policy came down to one thing… travel.
While we were able to adjust our home & contents to cover the full value of my bling (perfect!), as well as ‘the PT scenario’ of loss or damage (amazing!) our policy was coming up short when we were travelling overseas.
The ‘extra cover for portable items’ I’d mentioned earlier, had us sorted for interstate visits to see family but was too restrictive for international getaways.
We were only covered for loss or damage if I was physically wearing my engagement ring or it was stored in a secure safe. In addition, we would only be covered for 30 days of travel which meant the last week of our upcoming US adventure left us without protection. And a quick peek at the travel insurance linked to our credit card uncovered the same restrictions.
So if you haven’t already, take a minute to think about how often you getaway for business or pleasure. The way & length of travel you love to take may influence the kind of engagement ring insurance you wish to take out.
How did you go with each of the qualifier questions above? How do you feel about your ring? Can your home & contents insurance meet your needs? How much do you & your fiancé like to travel?
Having run through each question myself, I felt that, for the way Matt & I like to live + play, our current coverage wasn’t going to cut it. Now that I could see the gaps we had in our existing cover, I followed the steps I now share with you below to take out a separate jewellery insurance policy.
“Whether you decide to take out a separate policy for engagement ring insurance or rely on your existing home & contents cover, getting an appraisal is a worthwhile exercise.”
5 steps to taking out a jewellery insurance policy
Step 1: Get your bling appraised
Jump online to find & book a jewellery valuer qualified in gemology. In Australia, you can search for a local valuer who is a registered member of the National Council of Jewellery Valuers on the NCJV website. At the time of booking, let them know you’re after a valuation for insurance purposes & where you would usually shop if you ever needed to replace your ring (if you already have a particular jeweller in mind).
For a small fee (mine was under $150), you’ll be given a valuation certificate which includes an appraisal of: the 4 C’s of your diamonds; the carat weight & colour of any other gemstones; as well as details of your setting & any other identifying features.
Whether you decide to take out a separate policy for engagement ring insurance or rely on your existing home & contents cover, getting an appraisal is a worthwhile exercise. Not only does it enable you to tell your insurer the true market value of your bling at the time you take out (or adjust) your policy; it also provides you with the paperwork you need to have on hand if you ever file a claim. Winning!
“Speak to your original jeweller & your valuer to learn about the insurers they use or like refer to their favourite customers.”
Step 2: Research jewellery insurance providers
You could do a Google search to find a list of potential providers but I found that — like a lot of wedding planning — personal recommendations yielded the quickest results. Speak to your original jeweller & your valuer to learn about the insurers they use or like refer to their favourite customers.
“Will I be covered for theft & damage, as well as loss & mysterious disappearance?”
Step 3: Gather quotes
Armed with your list of insurance providers, now it’s time to get a picture of what your options are.
Below is a list of the questions that helped us make our final choice on our engagement ring insurance:
- Will I be covered for theft & damage, as well as loss & mysterious disappearance (i.e. you can’t determine when or how you lost your ring)? (Hint: Not all policies insure against loss or mysterious disappearance as part of their default package)
- Is this coverage worldwide, 365 days a year? (Hint: Some policies put a cap on the number of overseas travel days they will honour which may not suit your lifestyle if you’re a regular jet-setter)
- Is this a ‘like for like’ policy (i.e. in the event of a claim, will your ring be repaired or replaced with components of identical or better value)?
- What portion of the cost to get my ring replaced or repaired is claimable? (Hint: Ideally you want it to be 100% of the current value, less any excess that’s been agreed)
- What are the policy exclusions (i.e. are there certain events they will not cover)?
- If my ring increases in value during the time I hold a policy with you, will your company recognise the increased insured value of my ring at no extra charge?
- If I file a claim for loss or theft, will this policy cover replacement value or cash settlement? (Hint: Look for cover that offers the former, as any cash settlement offer typically aren’t for the full value of your ring)
- If the policy does cover replacement, where can I purchase a new ring? (Hint: Ideally you want the flexibility of going to a jeweller of your choice rather than be limited to your insurer’s preferred suppliers)
- What are my options if a suitable replacement can’t be found? (Hint: Worth finding this out if your engagement ring is an antique)
- What are the steps I would need to take to make a claim? (Hint: Be sure to find out what proof your insurer will need to illustrate that the loss/theft/damage took place, as well as proof of the ring’s ownership & value)
- What will an annual premium cost?
- Do you offer a loyal customer discount if I already hold other insurance/banking products with you?
- What are my premium payment options?
- What is the excess per claim? (Hint: Increasing your excess is a way to lower your premium costs)
“…a policy that has worldwide year-round coverage for theft, damage, loss & mysterious disappearance… worked out to be just over $2 for every $100 my ring is worth.”
Step 4: Take out the policy that best suits you
Once you’ve gone through your checklist of question & found a provider you’re happy with, it’s time to lock in your engagement ring insurance!
We ended up choosing a policy that has worldwide year-round coverage for loss, theft, damage & mysterious disappearance. The cost worked out to be just over $2 for every $100 my ring is worth. So if your bling is valued at $15,000, you’d be looking at a premium of around $300 each year.
Step 5: Keep copies of your paperwork
One last bit of housekeeping to make life easier if you ever need to make a claim, is to keep copies now of the paperwork which proves your engagement ring’s ownership & value. This can be as simple as scanning & saving your purchase receipt, valuation certificate, as well as a photo of your bling.
So there you have it — the ins & outs of all things ring insurance!
I hope that by sharing my experience, you now have everything you need to make insuring your engagement ring simple.
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Disclaimer: The former lawyer in me can’t help but include a final note to remind you that the information I’ve shared in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as constituting financial advice.
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