Engagement Rings: Insurance 101

The final step in securing the perfect ring? Insurance. It's your only recourse if your ring goes missing. Here's how it's done.

Once you've gotten your new best friend -- that beautiful bauble on your finger, what else? -- appraised, call your insurance company right away to get it insured, which is usually done as a rider to your homeowner's or renter's policy. Coverage and reimbursement or replacement procedures vary widely, so be sure to ask lots of specific questions including the following:
How are claims satisfied: cash reimbursement or ring replacement?
If you are reimbursed, do you receive the insured amount ("full value") provided in the policy or, if not, how is the amount of the cash settlement determined?

If the ring is replaced, what proof will you get that the replacement is of comparable quality and value to the original?

What are the terms of coverage if an item cannot be replaced (if you have a unique heirloom piece, for example)?
What risks does your policy cover? Loss? Theft? Damage? In all parts of the world? At all times?
What are the exemptions or exclusions? What if your ring is stolen due to negligence, for example? Is a piece covered while you're wearing it or only if it's stolen from your home?
Are there any deductibles?
What documentation will the insurer require for a claim?

Safety Precautions
Here are other types of "insurance" to help identify and replace your ring in case of loss or theft:

Pay a little extra to have your appraiser photograph your ring (he should note the magnification, date, and your name on the print). Take a copy along on your honeymoon should the U.S. Customs Service question whether you purchased the ring abroad. Keep the original in a safe place with other important papers, such as in a bank safe deposit box.

Laser Inscription
Many gem-testing labs, including the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and IGI (International Gemological Institute) can put laser inscriptions on the girdle edge of a diamond. Invisible to the naked eye, these microscopic inscriptions can include the number of your diamond grading report (or some other identifying code) plus a unique romantic message. Both will undeniably prove that a stone belongs to the one and only you! Be forewarned, however, that laser inscriptions are easily duplicated so there is the potential (even though it's a slim chance) for a stone to be switched.

Common Sense
If you take your ring off, put it in a designated place so you'll always know where it is. When traveling, take advantage of in-room hotel safes to stow jewelry you're not currently wearing. If you are wearing it and find yourself in sketchy surroundings, turn your ring around so the stone faces the inside of your hand.


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