My grandmother passed away around 16 years ago.* She left me a diamond ring and an opal bracelet. Despite both being quite lovely, I’ve worn each exactly once. And I had to wear the diamond ring on a chain around my neck because it’s too tiny to fit on anything other than my pinky finger. (My grandmother was a slender, slender woman.)
I went to an appraiser back when I first got them, and they’re worth about $3,700 altogether. Which blew me away but also made me wonder: Should I get them insured?
Sixteen years later, I still haven’t pulled the trigger, and I think it’s time to make a decision. I need to decide whether to get a special rider on our insurance for these specific items.
Given the value, you might think that it’s a no-brainer, but I’ve gone back and forth about it quite a bit. It boils down to why I’d be insuring the items.
Really, the point of insurance is to enable you to replace anything that gets damaged, stolen etc. If we had a fire and lost our TVs, furniture, clothing, etc., we’d have insurance to help us cover the cost of new items. Because we use them all the time and would, therefore, want to replace them.
But I never wear the jewelry. (Though I keep resolving to bring it out once in a while just so there’s a point to it all.) That makes insuring it seem a little silly. Because why would you replace what you never use?
More importantly, the pieces are irreplaceable. If they were lost, anything I got to replace them… Well, they wouldn’t be my grandmother’s. So what’s the point? Why would I even try to replace them? Answer: I wouldn’t.
On the other hand, if I’m were mourning the loss of these last connections to my grandmother, maybe the money would make me feel better. Maybe then at least I have something left. A semi-callous way to look at it but… There it is.
So in the end I guess it boils down to the numbers.
The rider would be $40 a month and has no deductible (compared to our $1,000 deductible for our general coverage). That seems relatively low for pricey items, but within eight years I’d have paid more than the rider is worth. [NOTE: A bright reader has pointed out that it’s probably $40 a year not a month. So that’s definitely pretty affordable.]
Meanwhile, our regular home insurance would probably cover the loss. We have $210,000 of coverage; so short of having to rebuild the entire house,** I think we’d have plenty left to cover the jewelry.
Of course, anxiety is a real thing, and maybe the rider would ease my mind, which loves to go to “What if?” places. What if insurance insisted that I should have had a rider and refuses to cover the loss? What if the whole house burned down and just replacing the structure took everything we had? Then again, my brain counters, what does it matter since I don’t plan to replace the jewelry anyway?
At present, I’m favoring the idea of eschewing a special rider and letting our general policy cover things. Those kinds of riders are probably more suited to people with tens of thousands in jewelry. But I honestly don’t know.
What I do know is that I have some unappraised wedding jewelry (bought in a manic, sleep-deprived state or I’d never have made the purchase). That’s worth probably $500 to $700 — maybe more — so I should get that looked at just in case.
I also know that I should try to wear all of stuff once in a while too. Just so there’s a point to it. Which means boy oh boy but I’m gonna be fancy in the coming months!
Would you insure the jewelry? Are there factors I’m not thinking of?
*Good god but it doesn’t feel that long ago. I miss her, even her Clorox obsession.
** No whammy no whammy no whammy no whammy