How to insure your expensive possessions

In most cases, you would also be covered for what insurance companies term "mysterious disappearance." This means that if your ring falls off your finger or is lost, you would be financially protected.

Prices for floaters and endorsements vary depending on the type of jewelry, the insurance company, where you live and where the item will be kept. Keeping jewelry you don't often wear in a safe-deposit box, for example, will result in a lower premium.

With floaters and endorsements, there are no deductibles.

So your sweetie has splurged and bought you a mink or a 10-carat ring. How can you protect yourself?

  • Photograph it, as a clear and permanent record of just what it is and what condition it's in.
  • Obtain a copy of the store receipt, as demonstrable proof of its retail value.
  • Get it appraised by an expert. "The appraisal is the most vital step," says Worters. It's a document that establishes its value, that it was genuine and that it was in your possession at this time. A photograph is helpful, and so is a receipt, but the photo won't show if it's a real diamond or a fake. And what you paid for something in a store isn't always exactly what it's going to cost you to replace it.
  • Contact your insurance agent and arrange for it to be added to your list of possessions. Until you do that, you risk not getting the full value of your new treasure should it be lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Keep copies of the receipt, the appraisal and any video or photographs in your home inventory file or safe deposit box. You will need to send a copy of the store receipt and appraisal to your insurance agent, too. It's also a good idea to keep an updated photo or visual record of your possessions, maybe by walking through the house with a video camera from time to time, so that in the event of, say, a disastrous fire, you'll have a record of what you lost.

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