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Wedding ring coverage in renters insurance
Renters insurance, also known as tenant insurance, covers your personal property – which includes your wedding ring – if it’s damaged, stolen, or destroyed. However, it won’t be covered if you lose it through your own negligence.
If you have a standard renters insurance policy, your wedding ring also might not be insured for its full value. Because your wedding ring is a piece of jewelry, it will probably only be insured up to a specific amount, called a sub-limit. Sub-limits are caps on the amount your provider will pay for certain types of expensive items. Most renters insurance policies feature sub-limits on jewelry that are between $1,000 and $2,500.
If your wedding or engagement ring is worth more than that, you won’t get back enough money to replace it (especially after you pay your renters insurance deductible out-of-pocket).
If this is the case, you might want to increase your sub-limit with an addition to your policy called a rider. We cover this process below, in the section “Adding more coverage for a wedding ring in renters insurance.”
Your ring is only protected from certain types of damage
Renters insurance only covers your wedding ring if it was lost or damaged due to a covered peril — a type of disaster specified in your policy. Fortunately, most everyday events are covered by renters insurance, along with a few not-so-everyday ones.
Renters insurance covers wedding rings lost to:
- Many types of water damage
- Damage from riots or civil unrest
- Falling objects
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Most weather damage (hail, windstorms, snow, lightning, etc.)
- Volcanic eruptions
- Damage from heating systems or short circuits
Check your renters insurance policy for more information on what it covers.
Is my wedding ring covered outside my home?
Yes, with renters insurance, your wedding or engagement ring is covered whether it’s inside or outside your home. If you’re away on your honeymoon and your ring gets stolen, you can still file a renters insurance claim.
When isn’t my wedding ring covered?
Certain types of disasters (a.k.a. perils) are excluded by renters insurance policies, which means that if one of them damages your wedding ring, it won’t be covered.
Renters insurance won’t protect your wedding ring against:
- Gradual wear and tear (tarnish, loss of shine)
- A manufacturer defect causing a mechanical breakdown
- Damage caused by insects or vermin
- Seizure or destruction by government officials (e.g. customs officers)
- Damages caused by war
You can avoid the most common perils by buying a high-quality ring, storing it in a safe place when you aren’t wearing it, and cleaning it regularly. The other perils are harder to avert, and in the unfortunate event of a war, flood, or earthquake, we recommend keeping your wedding ring on your finger.
Adding more coverage for a wedding ring in renters insurance
If you want additional coverage for your wedding or engagement ring, you should consider one of the following three options.
Option 1: Get a jewelry endorsement
An endorsement or rider is an addition to your policy. You can use an endorsement to increase coverage for a given category of items — in this case, jewelry.
When you buy a jewelry endorsement, your provider will raise the sub-limit for your entire jewelry collection, often to $10,000. You won’t be able to apply the full $10,000 to a single item; individual pieces will still have smaller limits of about $2,500 to $3,000.
Increasing your jewelry sub-limit with an endorsement will raise your monthly premiums, because it means your insurance provider is taking on more risk.
When should I choose this option?
You should get a jewelry endorsement if your ring is within the per-item limit (e.g. it’s worth under $3,000) and you have a few other valuable pieces of jewelry that are about the same price.
If your engagement ring is worth more than the per-item limit, or it’s the only piece of valuable jewelry you own, you should consider the next option instead.
Option 2: Get a personal articles floater or scheduled property rider
A floater adds extra coverage for a single specific item — like your engagement ring — without expanding coverage for all of your jewelry.
Sometimes, a floater will also protect your ring from perils that your basic renters insurance policy won’t cover, such as accidentally dropping it down the drain. Check with your insurer to find out exactly what coverage options they offer.
When should I choose this option?
You should opt for a floater if your engagement ring is worth significantly more than $3,000, and you don’t have any other pieces of valuable jewelry that you need to insure as well.
Option 3: Purchase a separate insurance policy for your ring
You should consider buying a completely separate engagement ring insurance policy if any of these statements apply to you:
- You own an expensive diamond ring that you can’t fully cover with a floater.
- You don’t want potential claims to affect your renters insurance premiums.
- You want more comprehensive coverage than your renters insurance offers.
How jewelry protection insurance works
Jewelry insurance covers your wedding ring from pretty much everything. This includes mysterious disappearance, accidental loss, theft, and damage.
The coverage limit is usually equal to the appraised value of your wedding or engagement ring. Jewelry insurance usually costs between 1-2% of your ring’s appraised value per year.
That means that if you have a $10,000 engagement ring, your jewelry protection policy will insure it up to $10,000, and will cost about $100 per year.
Should I add extra coverage for my wedding or engagement ring?
We recommend adding extra coverage in many circumstances. The two factors to consider are:
- How expensive your ring is
- Whether you’d want to replace it if it got lost
An average engagement ring retails for about $6,000, which exceeds the jewelry sub-limit of most renters insurance policies (approximately $1,500). Bear in mind that when you file a personal property claim, you also have to pay a deductible (usually around $500) before you’re reimbursed.
This means that with a standard policy without expanded coverage, if you file a claim for your engagement ring, you’ll still end up paying the great majority of the cost out of your own pocket.
What happens if you don’t insure your wedding ring and you lose it?
Obviously, that isn’t an ideal situation. Since you’re not insured, your only option is to pay for a new ring yourself (unless, of course, you just decide not to replace it).
Before you commit to buying a new ring, try the following:
- File a police report
- Put out a lost/reward ad online
- Call local jewelers and pawn shops
Wait a few weeks to a month. There’s a chance your ring will turn up.
What if you damage your ring?
If your ring gets damaged and you’re not insured, check whether you have a warranty. You may be able to get minor damage fixed free of charge.
If you don’t have a warranty, you can still take it to your local jeweler, but if you don’t have insurance, you’ll have to pay for it out-of-pocket.
Filing a claim for a wedding ring in renters insurance
The most common wedding and engagement ring claims are caused by theft and water damage.
If you file a claim for those losses, or for any other peril covered by your policy, here’s what to do.
How to file a claim for a wedding ring
Before you file a claim, you will need the following documents:
- Police report (if your ring was stolen)
- Photos of the ring (if it was damaged)
- Your policy number
- Your contact information
- Evidence of ownership (e.g. appraisal, receipt)
- A written statement about what happened
- Your bank account information
If your ring was stolen, your insurer might also ask for a letter from a family member or friend corroborating your story.
Once you have the documents handy, you can begin the claim process.
- Call your insurance company within 72 hours of the damage or loss.
- Fill out a claims form.
- Provide the documents listed above.
An insurance adjuster will review your claim and get back to you within a few days.
What if my wedding ring claim is rejected?
Your insurer might reject your claim for any of the following reasons:
- They believe your claim is fraudulent or exaggerated
- The cause of loss or damage isn’t covered under your policy
- You failed to provide necessary documents (like proof of purchase or ownership)
- You waited for more than 48 to 72 hours to report the loss
If you believe your claim was wrongly rejected, contact your adjuster. Explain why you believe your claim was valid, as clearly as you can.
Submitting a claim can be stressful, especially when you just lost something with a lot of sentimental value. However, when you file your claim, it’s important to say calm and avoid bringing your emotions into it. Your claim will go much more smoothly if you approach it with a level head.
Repairing or replacing your ring
If your insurer covers your claim, they’ll probably send you money to get it repaired or buy a new one. They may also pay your jeweler directly, who will then give you the replacement.
If your insurer pays out money, they might send it in two installments — a partial payment at first, and then the remainder after you submit proof (receipts) that you actually used the money to restore your lost wedding ring.
Getting your ring repaired
The most common types of wedding ring damage are fractures and scratches to the band or diamond. To get your ring repaired, take it to a jeweler.
Before you go, ask your insurer what to do if the jeweler loses your ring while they’re repairing it. This is rare, but it happens — and if it does, your jeweler’s solution might not be acceptable to you. For instance, they might offer to replace it with another ring of similar value instead of finding your lost ring or paying for it. You want to guarantee that your insurer has your back if it happens.
Replacements and reimbursements
If your ring is lost or stolen and your policy pays out its monetary value, they’ll usually use a bank transfer. (If you prefer a check, just ask them.)
If you get a replacement, most companies will allow you to choose the jeweler you want to use. However, some policies may require you to stick to a list of jewelers they’ve approved.
Many insurers will ask for proof that you actually used the money to buy a replacement ring. They’ll usually give you several months to provide this, so you don’t have to rush.
How to determine the value of your wedding or engagement ring
When you buy renters insurance coverage for your wedding or engagement ring, you need to know how much it’s worth. You also need this information if you have to file a claim.
Finding out the value of your wedding band is easy, because most wedding bands are very simple — made of gold, silver, or platinum, with no precious stones or elaborate detail work. You can usually take your wedding ring to a local jewelry store and get a price estimate free of charge.
Finding out the value of your engagement ring takes more work. You have several options:
Option 1: Get an appraisal
An appraisal is official proof of your wedding ring’s worth. Appraisers usually charge between $50 and $150 per hour. Unless your ring is unusually elaborate, it probably won’t take more than one hour.
If an appraiser offers you a very low price, that’s a red flag. Very low prices may indicate an inaccurate appraisal and lack of experience.
You should reappraise your wedding ring every 2 to 5 years. This is because its value can increase over time, and its first recorded value might be much lower than its actual worth today. When you file a claim, you want to make sure you get reimbursed for the correct value.
How do I choose a credible appraiser?
Before going to your local appraiser, make sure they have appraisal training, expertise in gemology, a high level of education, and a lot of experience. If you want to be really thorough, look at their customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau’s website.
Option 2: Get information from the diamond certificate or grading report
A diamond certificate or grading report guarantees the general value of your stone, including its quality and authenticity. However, it doesn’t give you a dollar value like an appraisal would.
How to read a diamond certificate or report
It can be confusing to read a diamond certificate for the first time. Here’s the info you’ll find on the report:
- Who graded the diamond: The top right-hand corner of the report shows you who evaluated your diamond. Make sure it’s a credible source, like the Gemological Institute of America or the American Gem Society.
- The report number: Your unique identifier can be used to get a copy of your report if you lose it.
- The 4 Cs (Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat weight): This is the most important section of your report because it indicates the quality of your diamond.
- Diagrams: These show the proportions and unique characteristics of your diamond.
- Other features: These include your diamond’s fluorescence, symmetry, and polish.
- Proof of authenticity: Your report has a unique QR code and other security features that prove it’s legitimate.
For more instructions on reading a report, check out this guide from the Gemological Institute of America.
What if I lose my certificate?
If you happen to lose your certificate, most labs have an online database where you can get a PDF copy of your report. All you need is your original report number. If you don’t have it, there are a few places you can look:
- The diamond seller
- Your original invoice
- The side of your diamond (use a magnifying glass)
If you can’t find it, you will have to contact your retailer to request a new, original certificate on your behalf. This can be costly, and can take up to several months.
Option 3: Use a price calculator to determine the value of your diamond ring
You can use an online price calculator to figure out the value of your diamond ring. Make sure you know its shape, carat, clarity, and color, as you will need to enter those to get an accurate estimate.