If you’re a homeowner, whether you own your home outright or are paying off a mortgage, chances are about 95-to-one that you have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place to protect your investment. This is according to current statistics.

Unfortunately, statistics also indicate that many homeowner policyholders don’t have a clear idea as to exactly what’s covered in their policies. They probably know their house and furnishings are protected against financial loss from certain listed perils such as fire and smoke damage, windstorms, lightning strikes, theft and vandalism. What they may not know is what’s not protected or what type of limits exist regarding certain items, especially those of significant value like artwork, jewelry, furs, antiques and other valuables.

What Typical Policies Cover

Standard homeowner’s insurance policies have dollar limits on what they’ll pay off if your home is totally destroyed and a separate limit on what they’ll pay for a total loss of your furnishings and other personal possessions. There are certain categories, however, where these limits are somewhat stringent. Some policies, for example, may totally exclude certain valuables such as jewelry, artwork, musical instruments, expensive collectibles or furs. More typical, however, are specific coverage limits on these valuables. These limited amounts may be woefully inadequate in replacing expensive valuables. The solution to this dilemma is to add extra coverage to your standard homeowner’s policy by way of a rider, also known as an endorsement.

The Jewelry Risk

To insurance companies, expensive jewelry is a high-risk commodity because it’s easily transportable, easy to steal if someone breaks into your home and often lost or damaged. Here are some tips to help keep your jewelry safe:

    • Don’t keep valuable pieces in your bedroom. Install an adequate fire- and theft-rated safe in your home or store it in your bank safety deposit box.
    • When traveling, keep expensive jewelry with you at all times or put it in the hotel safe (not your room safe).
    • Have the settings on your diamonds or other gemstones checked by a jeweler annually to prevent stones from loosening and getting lost.
    • Get a Rider

A rider is extra protection that can be added to your standard homeowner’s policy to increase the amount of coverage on your most valuable possessions. It will cost a little more for your coverage, but you can choose a realistic dollar amount for a claims payoff. Safe is better than sorry!