Is insuring jewelry a good deal?

There’s lots of bling in the air now that Valentine’s Day is over. Ladies — and some gentlemen — are flashing diamonds like backstage passes. And there’s no shortage of information on how to insure all of this new jewelry.

But when it comes to insurance, what many jewelry buyers want to know is, “Is it worth it?”

Here are some questions to help determine if spending the money on jewelry insurance is right for you:

Is it a family heirloom?

Mary Ann Hawthorne, who inherited a diamond from her grandmother a couple of years ago, says she didn’t even think about insurance until it was retrieved from a safe.

“When I saw it and realized how large it was, I knew I needed to get it insured,” the Sandy Springs resident says. “It was just over a carat, maybe a carat and a half.”

Hawthorne says she pays $81 a year to insure the ring and encourages others with family heirlooms to do the same. “It’s not that expensive,” she says.

Raymond Evans, a State Farm Insurance agent in Alpharetta, says your emotions can reveal whether you should insure a piece of jewelry.

“If you have something that you really cherish and you’re apprehensive about wearing it because you might lose it, you’re probably not [going to be] as apprehensive if you know you can replace it,” he says.

Was it custom-made?

One-of-a-kind pieces are essential to insure because they’re usually more expensive, says Evans. It could be difficult to recover them without a proper appraisal and insurance.

“Typically, [for] all custom-made jewelry you have an appraisal. So if something does happen, your insurance company can send you back to the jeweler” to recreate it, Evans says.

Is it worth more than you could pay out-of-pocket?

Anna Pritchett’s husband bought her a modest engagement ring when he proposed.

“We got married in law school and were poor,” the Atlanta resident says. “We upgraded it on the tenth anniversary of our engagement in 2005.”

She says the couple bought a separate insurance policy for the new ring because it was worth much more than the $2,500 coverage under their homeowners insurance. It was also worth more than they were willing to pay out of their checking account.

But Pritchett stresses you can find a deal on insurance — just shop around.

“We switched and now we’re paying for a car, house and the ring all separately, plus an umbrella policy,” Pritchett says. “It’s a little more than our car insurance was with [the first company].”

Evans stresses that insurance is a unique decision for everyone.

“For one person a $1,000 ring is expensive,” he says. “Some people go as high as $5,000, $10,000. Anything you feel that you can’t afford to lose, I would insure it.”

So is it worth the extra money?

“It’s one of those rainy day-type things,” Pritchett says. “It’s not a bargain until you need it. What’s peace of mind worth to you?”

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

See a great deal I should know about? Email me at ldavidson@ajc.com. You can also follow me on Facebook or on Twitter @atlbargains.

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The watching eye

February 22nd, 2011
8:07 am

I will tell you about insuring valuables like diamonds. Put them in a safe at home. Forget about insurance. Or in a safe deposit box at the bank. I have about $50,000 in jewelry, I let a friend put it in her safe for safe keeping. Now, I have indidcated to her that with gold going up, up and away I might want to convert the gold and diamonds to cash. She is reluctant to part with the “stuff”. I wonder if I have made a mistake? She assured me, anytime I wanted it just say the word. Am I stupid? You can tell me, be honest.

Chris

February 22nd, 2011
8:30 am

Sure, I’ll be the first. You are stupid.

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angie

February 22nd, 2011
4:37 pm

I have a few pieces of jewelery that I have insurance on. My wedding ring was the first to be insured. The reason being, the amount we paid for it was way long ago when we could afford to, before kids. Now we would never make a purchase on something like that not a ring, bracelet or any piece of jewelery for that matter. The other is a Pandora bracelet with silver and gold beads that I insured because it is so dear to me. I couldn’t even bear to part with it so many memories on each bead. Things do happen though and who wants that type of stress.