Jewelry Care & Maintenance

What’s the Difference Between a Jewelry Warranty and Jewelry Insurance?

By Conor Redmond, BriteCo Chief Insurance Officer
March 22nd, 2021

A new fine jewelry purchase is a huge deal, and there are different avenues for protecting your investment. On one hand, you may be offered a warranty of some kind for your jewelry or watch purchase. On the other hand, there’s insurance to consider. Understanding the differences between a jewelry warranty and jewelry insurance will help you best protect your investment.

What is a Jewelry Warranty?

There are all different kinds of warranties. Generally speaking, a warranty is an agreement put forth by the original manufacturer or retailer of your engagement ring, wedding ring, earrings, or luxury watch as a conditional statement of quality, enduring for a set period of time beginning with the day you purchased the item. Jewelry warranties do vary slightly, but they all state the registration terms, what’s covered or not covered, and for how long. Some warranties last for several months to a year (or number of years), while others are sold as ‘Lifetime’ warranties (more on those later). In any event, you may receive a “warranty card” with your fine jewelry purchase outlining the terms of your jewelry warranty.

What Does a Jewelry Warranty Cover?

Things typically covered by a traditional jewelry warranty include:

  • Manufacturing defects
  • Imperfection in design, materials, or workmanship
  • Resizing (usually for engagement rings and wedding bands)
  • Cleanings

What’s Not Covered By a Jewelry Warranty?

Alternatively, there’s a longer list of items not covered by a typical jewelry warranty:

  • Wear and tear
  • Bent or missing prongs
  • Discoloration from outside agents
  • Bent/misshapen bands
  • Loss of a stone/pearl/backing
  • Broken clasps or missing links
  • Repairs or maintenance done outside the original seller
  • Theft
  • Transfer of ownership

Depending on the jewelry you’ve purchased, many fine jewelers offer something called a Lifetime Limited Warranty to the original purchaser or party to a purchase (if the item is gifted) for as long as they own their jewelry. Just like a shorter warranty, a lifetime warranty typically will remain in effect as long as certain conditions are met, including but not limited to:

  • Regular cleaning/inspection by the original seller for set intervals
  • All repair work is performed by the original seller
  • Warranty only valid with the original owner – Not transferable

As always – if you have a question about what your warranty covers, doesn’t cover, whether there’s a deductible, or to learn whether you have a warranty at all, you should always refer to your Warranty Card (if you have one), the jeweler who sold you the item, or for certain branded items and luxury watches, the manufacturer.

What is Jewelry Insurance?

Even if you have a solid jewelry warranty, you need to properly insure your jewelry. Jewelry insurance usually refers to a specific policy meant to cover an engagement ring, wedding band, earrings, or luxury watch and protects the policyholder in the event of perils such as:

  • Damage
  • Loss
  • Theft
  • Mysterious Disappearance

Jewelry insurance usually doesn’t cover things that your jewelry warranty does – like manufacturing defects. In some cases, you may be able to find jewelry insurance that covers preventative maintenance too (as this not only keeps your jewelry looking its best, it’s also in the interest of the insurance company to make sure prongs are tight, clasps are sturdy, and bezels are sealed).

As with warranty coverage, there are several different types of jewelry insurance coverage available in the marketplace, ranging from generic “Personal Articles” policies (that aren’t technically specific to jewelry), to iron-clad, specialized jewelry or watch insurance policies like those offered from BriteCo.

Coverage Other Online Jewelry Insurance Renters / Homeowners Insurance Jewelry Warranty
Coverage Limits 125% of Appraisal Value Appraisal Value Capped as low as $1,000 Appraisal Value
Worldwide Coverage
Damage Limited
Loss
Theft Limited
Mysterious Disappearance
Limited Impact of Claims on Homeowners Insurance
Gifts to Others at Separate Address ? ?
Zero Deductible* ? ? ?
Free Annual Insurance Value Updates
Preventive Maintenance**

*Not applicable for agreed value policies
**Covers prong retipping; broken, worn or bent prongs; broken earring posts; clasp replacement; restringing of broken or stretched pearl strands; and stone tightening

Insuring With Your Homeowners Policy

If you have a basic homeowners or renters policy, your first instinct might be to list your jewelry on it, but if the value of your jewelry exceeds $1,000 to $2,000 per item, you’ll definitely want a specialized policy just to cover your jewelry (more on that below). This is because most homeowners and renters insurance companies only pay out around $2,000 if you have a jewelry claim, no matter how much your jewelry is actually appraised for (learn more about jewelry appraisals here).

Another out-of-pocket cost involved with most homeowners or renters policies is the deductible, or amount of money you’ll need to pay up front toward filing a claim. In general, the types of claims you’ll be able to file against your homeowners or renters policy will be directly related to theft. Certain claims against damage, and most claims involving mysterious disappearance – instances where the item isn’t necessarily stolen, but it’s certainly lost without recourse – are not honored by most homeowners and renters insurance policies.

When you think about it, you rely on your homeowners policy to also cover the physical dwelling you live in, plus everything inside it. If you have a jewelry claim, it could cause your homeowners rates to increase. And if you ever have to make an additional damage claim against your property down the line, you could wind up getting cancelled because of your prior jewelry loss – because you insured everything on the same policy. Thankfully, there’s a better option for insuring your valuables.

Shopping for Specialized Jewelry Insurance

When it comes to shopping for an insurance policy to cover your precious valuables, it might be best to consider insuring with a dedicated jewelry insurance company, especially if you own fine jewelry valued above $2,000. As you shop carriers, be mindful of things like coverage limits, deductibles, and limitations.

At BriteCo, we provide the industry’s most comprehensive, worldwide coverage against loss, damage, theft, and mysterious disappearance. BriteCo jewelry insurance policies also include provisions for routine maintenance, such as prong tightening, to ensure your engagement ring or wedding ring remains intact. BriteCo offers all of this, plus automatic coverage up to 125% of the appraised value of your jewelry at no extra charge, all with zero deductibles.

We hope this comparison between jewelry warranties and jewelry insurance helps paint a clearer picture of what each type of protection involves. Even if you have a warranty, you’ll need to properly insure your fine jewelry. BriteCo makes it super easy to obtain a straightforward, easy to understand jewelry insurance quote. Select “Check Your Price” at the top of the page or click here to get a personalized jewelry insurance quote in seconds.

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About the Author

Conor Redmond, FCAS, MAAA, is the Chief Insurance Officer for BriteCo and a fully credentialed actuary with over 8 years' experience in the property and casualty insurance industry. Conor most recently served as the research director for Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, providing valuable actuarial insights and support for the organization’s nearly 1,000 members.
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