Need to know
- Most home and contents insurance cover jewellery, but only up to a limit.
- If you have items worth more than the limit, you’ll need to specify them on your policy.
- You may need to buy extra cover to be covered outside the home.
No one wants to lose their precious jewellery, but if it does happen, it will be less painful if you've chosen the right contents insurance. It's important to check the fine print when it comes to your diamonds and pearls to avoid being underinsured if you need to make a claim.
The good news is there are ways to cover expensive jewellery items for the amount they're worth. The bad news: you'll have to pay for it.
All contents insurance policies cover jewellery, but most come with limits that can leave you out of pocket if you lose or break an expensive piece.
When you insure your contents, you nominate an amount that it would cost to replace everything as new, called the "sum insured", but for valuable contents like jewellery, the overall amount or individual item cover is usually limited. Note that individual items include pairs and sets. Your earrings, for example, usually count as a single item for the purpose of insuring them.
There are two options to cover your jewellery under home and contents insurance:
- Unspecified or unlisted. This is when you don't tell your insurer up front about individual items, and they're treated as part of your general contents. Most insurers limit their cover for unspecified jewellery, either by capping the amount they'll pay out per item, or the overall amount, or both.
- Specified, or listed cover. These are items you've nominated to be covered for an amount set by you. Some policies also cover your listed items for accidental loss or damage away from the home.
If you have a piece or set of jewellery that's worth more than your insurer's limit, you'll need to specifically list them on your policy. This will increase your premium but you won't be out of pocket if you need to claim.
If you have many items and mostly keep them at home, you might choose to list some high value pieces and leave the others unlisted. Listing an item that you regularly leave the home with may also be a better option than covering it unlisted with portable contents cover.
If you want unlisted items covered away from home, you may have to add portable contents cover to your policy. Keep in mind that the limits for portable contents might be lower than the jewellery limits.
Portable contents cover lets you list some things and keep other items unlisted. The difference is that the total sum insured is lower, and fewer things are covered.
Even if your portable valuables are covered away from home, there may be a limit to where and for how long you can travel with them. If you take your jewellery overseas you might have anywhere from 30 to 120 days cover.
Check your home and contents insurance terms and conditions before taking jewellery overseas to ensure it's covered. Outside Australia and New Zealand, for example, Suncorp-owned brands (including GIO, AAMI and Apia) will only cover jewellery and watches while being worn or in a safe.
Most comprehensive travel insurance policies will cover your jewellery overseas but the amount of cover will often be limited. If you don't have cover for portable contents in your home insurance, then you'll need to get the right travel insurance to cover you for loss or damage to your jewellery when you leave the country.
Like home and contents insurance, there are individual item limits for unspecified items, but this item limit can be increased if you specify a higher limit for your jewellery and pay an extra premium.
There are many exclusions for valuable items like jewellery in travel insurance. Travel insurance may exclude items:
- stored in check-in luggage
- left in a public place, such as a seat next to you in a cafe
- left in a car – sometimes it may be covered during the day or not at all
- kept in your hotel room when you're not there.
Use our travel insurance reviews to compare cover for your jewellery.
What if you don't want to get your whole home's contents insured? In that case, you're looking for single item insurance. It works similarly to regular home contents insurance.
With single-item insurance, you list just the things you want covered for the value you want them covered for. Accidental damage and cover away from home might be included as standard, or offered as optional extras.
If you need to make a claim, the insurer will require evidence that you owned the item in the first place, and that it's worth what you say it's worth.
- Keep receipts, and take detailed close-up photos of all pieces. Store digital copies using an online cloud storage service if you can.
- Get your jewellery valued for its replacement cost regularly. The insurer covers you for the amount it would cost them to replace it, not for the price you paid for it.
- If your jewellery is stolen, you'll need to make a police report before you make an insurance claim (this goes for all theft claims).