Once you’ve chosen the perfect wedding rings, it’s important to make sure you protect your valuable investment. According to The Knot’s study of royal weddings, Americans spend an average of $6,351 on an engagement ring. Here are some tips for adding your rings to your homeowners or renters insurance policy, along with other ideas for keeping them safe.
1. find out the current value.
Your insurance company needs to know the current value of your wedding rings to provide enough coverage to repair or replace them. Have your original purchase receipt handy, and be sure to tell your insurer details about the four C’s of the gem: color, cut, clarity, and carat size.
2. have the ring appraised.
If your ring is an heirloom that has been passed down through generations in your family, look for a jewelry store that has a certified gemologist or quality appraiser on staff. be prepared to pay up to a few hundred dollars for an appraisal and drop off your ring in a week or so. When the appraisal is complete, you will receive an insurance replacement report that reports the retail replacement value of the ring. the replacement insurance document will also include information about the physical properties of the stone and metal. the gemstone will be described by characteristics such as shape, weight, clarity, color, polish, symmetry, and fluorescence, which determine the price of the ring.
Be sure to get your ring appraised every few years, as the cost of metals and gemstones fluctuates. this step will ensure you have the right amount of coverage because when the price goes up, you’ll be fully insured for replacement value. And when the price drops, you’ll save on premiums.
3. stay organized.
don’t throw away that receipt! If you need to replace your ring, you’ll need to provide a few documents for a quick claim process: the original receipt, the appraisal certificate, any warranties or coverage policies from the jeweler. keep everything together in a file or folder so it’s organized and easily accessible.
“first of all, always keep an up-to-date inventory of your belongings,” said jane li, senior product manager for mercury. “be sure to take photos, provide descriptions, documentation to support what you paid for the item, and include date of purchase, serial numbers, and copies of receipts where possible.”
At the same time, take inventory of any other expensive jewelry or valuables you have on hand and gather receipts and certificates for them. When you insure your ring, you can also get coverage for your other valuables.
4. ask about coverage options.
If you already have a homeowners insurance policy, call your insurer and ask about coverage options for your rings. Most homeowners policies provide minimal coverage for jewelry and high-value collectibles, so you may need to purchase a “personal articles” or “floating” policy to provide protection for these items. This way, if you lose your wedding ring while diving on vacation or damage the metal band while working, your insurance company will pay for the cost of replacing or repairing the ring. however, there is an additional cost to these policies, and this cost will be determined based on the value of the items you are insuring. talk to your agent for more information about these policies.
5. keep your ring looking like new.
If your ring is an heirloom and you had it appraised, the gemologist or appraiser will let you know if any repairs are needed. Some common repairs include fixing the prongs that hold the gemstone in place and cleaning the ring and stones. Also make sure the ring fits snugly so it doesn’t come off during exercise or other activities.
Once you’ve professionally cleaned your ring, it’s a good idea to clean it yourself at least once a month by soaking it in a mixture of warm water and dish soap for 30 minutes. Gently brush off any diamonds or gems with a soft toothbrush and allow the ring to air dry to avoid scratching the metal.
When doing household chores that involve harsh chemicals like bleach, avoid wearing the ring to avoid damaging the metal. remove the ring while working with your hands, such as gardening or crafts, and store it in a safe place until you’re done.
At home, invest in a safe for when you’re not wearing the ring. When you travel, be sure to store your rings in your hotel room safe. While it’s good to know you have insurance in case something happens, you should always take precautions to protect your rings as well as possible.
marissa hermanson is a lifestyle and wedding expert whose work has been featured in the knot, southern and cosmopolitan living. She currently writes for Larson Jewelers, an online jewelry store that offers a wide variety of unique wedding rings.