A jewelry appraisal is official documentation that states how much your jewelry is worth.
What is a jewelry appraisal?
It’s a document made by an appraiser that states their best estimate of a piece of jewelry’s value.
To get an appraisal, you’ll need to find an experienced and qualified jewelry appraiser to perform an in-person inspection of your jewelry.
After the appraisal, you’ll receive a certificate with a brief description of the item and its appraised value. The appraisal will also list out the owner’s name, address, and contact info, as well as the date of the appraisal. This will serve as legal proof that you own your jewelry.
Why do I need an appraisal?
The appraisal tells your insurance company how much your jewelry is worth.
If your jewelry is stolen or damaged, your insurance company can pay you the current value to repair or replace your valuables, minus your deductible, of course. It’s easy to say the jewelry you got online is priceless. That’s why insurance companies require third-party certification to verify it’s worth as much as you say it is.
But here’s the thing: most insurance companies cover jewelry up to a certain amount. For example, Lemonade’s base plan covers $1,500 worth of jewelry for theft. The plan doesn’t cover other named perils, like vandalism, fire, etc., so be sure to check what’s covered in your insurance policy.
If you have any big-ticket items or items with strong sentimental value, consider adding Extra Coverage to your insurance policy.
Extra Coverage (sometimes called scheduled personal property) is insurance-speak for adding a valuable item to your insurance policy. Here’s how it works: you need to get an appraisal to verify the cost of your jewelry, and then tell your insurance company you’re willing to pay for more insurance each month as an extra layer of protection.
If something happens to your valuables, your insurance company will pay you back the value of your jewelry, which is where your jewelry appraisal comes back in. Btw, Extra Coverage covers accidental damage and mysterious disappearance, deductible free!
What happens if I don’t get a jewelry appraisal?
If you don’t want Extra Coverage for your jewelry, you’re only covered for the max amount covered by your base insurance policy (minus your deductible). This means you can still make a claim for anything that costs more than your deductible, but you’ll still need to show proof of the purchase, like a receipt or bank statement, and you might not get the full value of your jewelry’s worth in the case of a claim.
For example, without Extra Coverage?
- If your earrings cost $200 and your deductible is $250: insurance will not pay you on items below the value of the deductible
- If your watch cost $500 and your deductible is $250: insurance will pay up to $250
- If your fav necklace cost $1,000 and your deductible is $250: insurance will pay up to $750
- If this entire jewelry collection totaling $1,700 was stolen: insurance will only pay $1,500
Basically, Extra Coverage is a way to pay more now, in order to get its appraised value later in case something happens.
When do I need to get an appraisal?
Usually, if you bought the piece of jewelry within the last five years, you can show your insurance company the receipt. Sometimes, that’s better than an appraisal, since it’s the most current value.
If you don’t have the receipt or it’s been more than five years since you bought it, you’ll need to get an appraisal to confirm its value. So if you submit your grandmother’s diamond engagement ring for Extra Coverage in June of 2019 but you only have a diamond appraisal from 2011, you’ll need to get an updated one.
How much does a jewelry appraisal cost?
The cost of an appraisal depends on the jewelry appraiser, so be sure to ask for the price upfront. You’ll either pay a fixed price per item, or an hourly rate between $50 and $150.
How do I find a jewelry appraiser near me?
For a legitimate appraisal, the jewelry should be inspected and verified in-person, so it’s easiest to find an appraiser nearby. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend an experienced jewelry appraiser, or visit your local jewelry store to see if they have an appraiser on staff.
If you decide to search for a jewelry appraiser online, make sure the appraiser has relevant training and experience. Organizations that offer formal training include:
- International Society of Appraisers
- American Society of Appraisers
- National Association of Jewelry Appraisers