At Henne Jewelers we provide numerous services for customers. One of our most requested services is a jewelry appraisal, and we receive dozens of questions about the process. So, we asked Jennifer Zappa, our Jewelry Appraiser, to answer those questions. Here’s what she had to say!
Q: Do I need jewelry insurance?
In most circumstances, yes. Most insurance companies have a limit on how much jewelry is covered through the basic homeowners policy. Those limits are generally pretty low, often times only $2,500 or $5,000. So if you have one item or multiple items over $5,000 in value and you would like it to be insured, you need to get a separate rider either through your homeowners insurance provider or a separate third party jewelry insurer. If you have a rider for the jewelry and it is specifically identified, the insurance company typically covers it due to theft, loss or damage. At Henne we have jewelry insurance options available to you, so check with your sales associate to learn more.
Q: What if the insured value is incorrect?
If your ring’s value was overinflated, you could spend more than necessary to insure your piece. Or, the reverse could mean you’re underinsured and may incur additional out-of-pocket expenses to repair or replace jewelry that becomes damaged or lost. Insuring your jewelry for its current retail replacement value is vital for repair or replacement.
Q: So where does an appraisal come in?
An appraisal ensures that you will receive the full replacement value (or what is covered in the terms of your policy), should you need to file a claim. Without an appraisal, you aren’t guaranteed the full replacement value, and it can create a lot of stress and headaches during the insurance claim process.
Unlike car insurance, you’re not required to have insurance for your jewelry. So if you're going to make the (smart) choice to invest time and money into jewelry insurance, make sure it's for the right amount by getting a quality appraisal with a reputable jeweler.
Q: When would I need a jewelry appraisal?
Times you will need a jewelry appraisal include purchasing new jewelry that will need to be added to the insurance policy, updating previous pieces, estate planning and distribution following a loved one’s passing, division of property for a divorce, tax deductions for charitable contributions, and liquidating assets.
Q: How long does an appraisal typically take, and how much does it cost?
Henne’s fees start at $150 per item; with multiple items we will discuss an hourly fee. The time to assess varies greatly, but on average a few pieces may take 2-3 hours. A simple gold ring or chain takes just a few minutes, but an intricate piece with multiple gemstones can take several hours to be appraised. Large estates may require 30-40 hours to appraise. We can do appraisals for new jewelry purchased at Henne. The topic usually comes up as you work with your sales associate, so if you want one we will issue the appraisal to be picked up with the new purchase (but we can do an appraisal at a later point in time as well).
Q: How often do I need to have my jewelry appraised?
We recommend checking the value of your jewelry every 5-7 years, but check with your insurance company. Many insurance companies require updates when you move or get a new policy.