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Prioritize protection of precious pieces this Valentine’s Day

Prioritize protection of precious pieces this Valentine’s Day

A centuries-old celebration of romance, Valentine’s Day has long been associated with showering loved ones with gifts.

While cards, flowers and chocolate have been mainstays for generations, giving jewelry for Valentine’s Day hasn’t always been commonplace. The practice became popular in the early part of the 20th century.

If you are planning to give jewelry for the first time this year, or are adding to someone’s collection, protecting these trinkets from loss should be a priority.

Though jewelry is usually partially protected under most homeowner insurance policies, its full value—and that of other luxury items in the home—often is left uninsured for those policies to remain affordable. To secure full value for jewelry in the event of theft or accidental loss, adding a personal articles floater to your policy is the best defense.

“What homeowner insurance will cover regularly are the normal perils of loss, such as if your home burns down, your jewelry will be covered for fire damage,” said Lisa Whitus, underwriting manager for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. “But if you simply lose jewelry, there is no coverage. If jewelry is stolen, there’s a limit under the policy for the reimbursement up to $2,500.

“If you have a $10,000 wedding band set and it’s stolen, and you don’t have a personal articles floater endorsement on your policy for $10,000 with your appraisal, you’re only going to get $2,500 for that set,” she explained. “With the floater, appraised and scheduled items are typically eligible up to $25,000.”

Not limited to jewelry and stones, the personal articles floater, or ML-61, also covers gold and silver, furs, fine art and firearms.

While the personal articles floater will protect the full value of jewelry while in the home, it also will cover losses that occur outside of the home. Whitus explained that the most common instance of lost jewelry happens when it’s accidentally left somewhere after the wearer takes it off, such as leaving a ring in a restroom.

Under standard homeowner policies, a loss like that wouldn’t be covered.

“A homeowner’s policy on a home includes personal property normally in that home—your couch, your kitchen table, jewelry in your jewelry box. Once you start wearing that jewelry on vacation or even to the grocery store, and you lose it, there’s no coverage without the personal articles floater,” Whitus said. “But once you add these items to your policy with a floater, the endorsement follows the insured item, not the home.”

Though some heartache over a lost item is inevitable, a call to your Farm Bureau insurance agent to put a plan in place for protecting those cherished items can help spare the headache.

“Jewelry pieces represent more than just tangible property,” Whitus said. “They embody special memories of special occasions or special people in someone’s life, and those memories are worth protecting.”