Maybe you are deep into a storybook romance with a special someone or you’ve been swept off your feet at first sight. Either way, though, it’s love. And what better way to express that feeling than with an engagement ring?
But before you pop the question, let’s talk about keeping that perfect representation of your love safe from all the possible losses that could prop up between now and your wedding day — or beyond, long after you and your partner have said, “I do!”
Sometimes it’s a mistake as simple as taking it off to wash your hands and walking away without a second thought. Other times it’s a burglar snatching the ring right out of your home while you enjoy a beachside vacation on the coast. There are countless different reasons you’ll want to protect that brand-new engagement ring from the moment it first slips onto your finger and the day you get married. Fortunately, engagement ring insurance is here to help.
Engagement ring insurance can be acquired the very moment that the ring itself has been bought, meaning that a little advance thought can make sure your new ring is insured before you and your partner have started planning your pending nuptials. These plans can cover everything from theft to damage, and may replace the item outright or provide remuneration on an actual-cash-value basis, depending on your policy.
One key to making sure your engagement ring is adequately protected is to bring it in to a professional, reputable appraiser to determine the actual value — which is especially important if you’re popping the question with a family heirloom or any other jewellery that didn’t come with a price tag attached. In the case of a store-bought diamond ring, you’ll also want to inquire about a diamond certificate or grading report which provide your appraiser with details like size, clarity and carat weight which paint a sharper image of your gemstone’s overall quality.
It might be worth exploring a second appraisal, too, if the first gives you a number that seems out of proportion to your expectations. If they provide you with a value that’s too high, then you’ll only end up paying extra in premiums while taking on the risk of getting a lower return than you’ve paid in the event of a loss.
Don’t forget to re-appraise as the years go by, too. Since engagement rings can increase in value over time, much like other jewellery items and antiques, you’ll want to be certain that you aren’t underinsuring an object whose worth has grown as it has aged.
If you purchased the ring on sale or at clearance prices, be careful to insure it for its full value and not the sticker price. If you’re not careful, it’s quite easy to end up underinsured if you don’t specifically delineate the item’s actual value.
If you’re thinking about home insurance, it’s likely you’re thinking about something that protects your house, apartment or condo and all your belongings inside from possible risks such as fire, water damage and theft. What you may not know, however, is that engagement rings and other items of jewellery are often included under the greater of standard home insurance policies.
Whether these items are included or not, and whether that coverage is a part of the standard policy or added on top of your base coverage, will depend on which provider you choose and what policy you decide best suits your interests. Some providers, such as Square One, let you personalize your coverage so your policy is customized to meet your specific needs. In other words: this means that if you don’t have any engagement rings or other jewellery, then you can leave them off your coverage and lower your premium. But if you do have a ring you’d like to insure, you can choose to add that coverage to your policy.
However, if you get engaged or buy any jewellery after you’ve purchased insurance, you’ll want to get in touch with your insurance provider and update your coverage to better reflect your evolving needs. This step is especially important since neglecting to update your insurance provider about changes to your insurance requirements could leave you unprotected in the event of a loss and prevent you from being able to file a claim for some losses. If you want to learn more, read our article on insuring jewellery.
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Maybe you’re drying your hands off after finishing a heavy load of dishes, and as the last of the detergent bubbles spin down the drain you notice a thin tan line around your ring finger where an especially significant piece of jewellery used to be. This disheartening situation is just one of countless possible scenarios that could leave you spinning over when and where you may have lost your engagement ring.
The good news is that you’ve thought ahead and purchased engagement ring insurance, ensuring that you’re covered in an event just like this one. The question, of course, is what exactly you’re supposed to do next?
Fear not. Here’s a quick, bullet point list of the steps you should take in the event that your engagement ring has been lost, stolen, or irrevocably damaged in order to make good out of a bad situation:
Make a police report, if necessary — If your ring has been stolen, it’s essential to establish a police report as soon as possible. The sooner the police are informed, the better the chance of recovering the original item.
Make a claim — Once you’re confident that your engagement ring is gone, you’ll want to get in touch with your insurance provider and file a claim. If you are a Square One customer, you can submit a claim through your online account or by calling 1.855.331.6933.
Decide your preferred method of recovery — Most modern policies replace lost or damaged property on a replacement cost basis, in which case a successful claim would mean you would be provided with a substitute of like kind and quality up to the limit of insurance purchased. You can also opt for payment of “actual cash value,” but note that this option will account for depreciation of the item over time when settling on a payment.
Assist in any further investigation, as applicable — Insurance claims will often be accompanied by a material investigation conducted by a claims adjuster, a process which helps ensure customers receive the proper remuneration for their lost, stolen or damaged property. It’s crucial to accommodate any requests made during this time, such as for purchase receipts or appraisals, as these will help the adjuster gain a fuller understanding of all aspects of the claim.
If you and your partner didn’t live together before marriage, then bringing your combined possessions under a single roof will significantly affect your insurance coverage. Be sure to contact your provider and update your insurance limits to better reflect everything you two own and to account for items such as bicycles, jewellery and furs that may not be included in standard coverage.
If the two of you are moving from a rented property to an owned house or condo as you begin your life together, you’ll also have to purchase a new homeowners insurance plan and cancel your former tenants policy as part of the process.
Weddings often bring with them a vast assortment of presents and new possessions to insure, some of which are small while others can be quite large. Make sure you check your insurance limits to see if they account for these gifts. They may not seem like much alone, but together that new mixer, kitchen set, bedsheets, dinnerware and so on can add up to a combined amount that should be reflected in your coverage.
Want to learn more? Visit our Home Insurance Basics resource centre for dozens of helpful articles to guide you through the ins and outs of home insurance. Or, get an online quote in under 5 minutes and find out how affordable personalized home insurance can be.
About the expert: Rena Novotny
Rena's 23-year career started as an independent adjuster where she specialized in complex property, liability and special risk loss. As a branch manager, Rena hired, trained, mentored and coached several adjusters. She continues part-time post-graduate studies in neuro-psychology and traumatization, learning how both may impact the insured's engagement on catastrophic claims. Rena has a MA (Conflict Analysis and Management), CRM, CIP, and holds a level 3 adjusting license.
About the expert: Stefan Tirschler
Stefan is responsible for underwriting leadership, market expansion, and product research and development for Square One's operations. Stefan has earned his Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional designation, and maintains a level 2 general insurance license in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Stefan is also an Education Committee member and CIP/GIE instructor for the Insurance Institute of Canada.
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