So, you got engaged, congrats! You must be pretty snowed under with wedding planning, excited relatives, and getting in shape for the big day, the last thing you probably want to think about is something happening to the engagement ring. Or you haven’t proposed yet but are planning to soon. Either way now’s the perfect time to start thinking about getting the best ring insurance for you, as it’s safest to sort it straight away.
Picking your ring
First things first, if you haven’t picked out a ring yet and are unsure about what ring to buy, The Guardian wrote a great guide to saving money on your engagement ring where it talks you through different carats, cuts, and metals, as well as giving you some great examples of online retailers which won’t charge you as much. Vogue and Marie Claire also have pretty extensive guides on what to look for and what everything means. If you need any help with sizing, then this guide by Goldsmiths has the basics, along with some tips for secretly finding out what size to get before a surprise proposal.
Covering your ring
Once you’ve found your ring, the next question is how to keep it safe (or popping the question, up to you!), it’s worth noting that 11% of couples have lost an expensive ring in the past 5 years, and 12% have reported theirs damaged. Those stats only cover people with insurance, so that number’s probably far higher. It’s plain to see that when it comes to engagement ring insurance, awareness is pretty low. Insurance isn’t quite as romantic as getting engaged, and as a result people don’t know about it or decide to put it off for another day. In fact, research by Yours magazine suggests that only half of UK couples insure their rings. Luckily, Urban Jungle, is here to tell you all you need to watch out for and how to make sure you’re getting a good deal!
The good news is that some of you are in for a happy surprise, as your ring could actually already be included in your contents insurance! This all depends on how much it cost when you bought it, or how much it’s been valued at recently, and if you’ve added cover out of home. To find out if it’s already insured, just look to see what the coverage is like for items under a certain price, and what level of cover you originally picked. Your contents insurance will always cover any item which is less than a limit they decide, if you’re with Urban Jungle, then anything under £2,500 is covered when at home automatically, without you having to declare it. If your ring costs more than that, or you want to include cover when you’re out of home, then you may want to add your ring to your existing policy as a ‘specified item’. Contact your provider to find out how to go about adding it to your policy, and if it seems expensive or too complicated then don’t be afraid to look elsewhere (it should be pretty easy to add to your Urban Jungle policy when buying online).
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Alternatively, you could get a standalone policy to cover your ring. This will nearly always cost you more, but if the ring’s worth a lot of money, or you’re particularly prone to losing things, then this could be the best way of covering it. This sometimes means that your coverage is more generous, for example there may be laxer restrictions on travel and you may not have an excess. There are a few people who specialise in engagement ring insurance, for example TH March, AssetSure, and Ripe Insurance.
No matter what insurance type you opt for, you must always read through the policy – although it may seem like it’s covering all the bases on paper, in reality you may not be getting as extensive a service as you thought.
How much will it cost?
Based on the Refinery 29’s calculations of an average spend on an engagement ring (£1,080) and how much millennials spend on average (£2,827) we compared quotes for standalone cover and adding a ring to contents insurance. We also threw in a £5,000 ring for good measure, to get a more rounded idea of what insurance could cost you.
We did some digging to check out how much your contents insurance will go up by if you add a ring for personal possession to your plan. We went for Direct Line, Lloyds, and LV (as well as ourselves) to compare. We also checked how much standalone insurance would cost with TH March, AssetSure and Ripe Insurance. Here are the average prices* for both across a range of post codes:
*prices from February 2018
One thing that might put you off standalone insurance, however, is that a lot of the providers are a little traditional and still insist on talking to you over the phone instead of showing you a quote upfront. Such insurers do have the advantage, however, of knowing a lot more about your ring – to get your cover you need to tell them what metal, stone, and carat your ring is, which could come in handy down the line.
The coverage offered by providers will differ, but the main thing that you’ll want to look out for is their limit – no matter what the type of insurance. If you’ve got an expensive ring, then your priority should be finding a policy which will cover your ring for its full price – this is also true of replacements and repairs. Speaking of which, some insurance companies will only let you go to selected retailers for repairs and replacements, which is fine if you don’t have a preference, but can pose problems if not. We always pay you cash or equivalent for repairs and replacements, and cover jewellery up to £12,500, so you can pick your own jeweller and ring if you need a repair or replacement, and for £12,500 we should be covering most rings too!
I’m not sure how much my ring’s worth
If this information has left you asking yourself how much your ring is worth, then fear not, we can help you out! If you bought it recently, then it’s worth the price you paid in the shop. If it’s a bit older, an heirloom for example, then it’s worth getting a valuation as the price of precious metals and stones changes over time. Prices for valuations will vary, so (as always) it’s worth shopping around until you find a jeweller with reasonable fees. Once you’ve got your valuation or bought your ring, be sure to file your documentation away somewhere safe, and to take photos of the ring as it was when you insured it. The photos are key, as they will be used to base a valuation on if you decide that the value of the ring is different to the value insured. To avoid having such a problem, the official advice is to get a new valuation every three years, especially once you’ve had your ring for a while.
What coverage do I need?
Once you’ve figured out which sort of insurance you want to go for, there are a few other things you’ll need to decide. First of all, will you need cover abroad? More and more people are choosing to propose abroad, in which case it’s a good idea to get it insured before jetting off (heaven forbid you lose the ring before you’re even engaged!) If an international proposal isn’t your style, chances are you’ll be going on holiday – or honeymoon – at some point. One of the top claims made is for jewellery lost while on holiday – it’s easy for a ring to fall off in the pool or sea, or for you to forget where you left it when you’re in an unfamiliar location. Your travel insurance will most likely cover one item of your choice, so if your engagement ring is the most valuable item going on holiday with you then it may be the one to add. Otherwise your contents insurance or ring insurance should cover it if you’re away for less than 60 days. To make things a little easier, we’ve compared a number of companies’ offerings in a table here*:
* Data found in February 2018
** Defaqto is a leading independent financial research company in the UK.
You’ll probably also be wondering how to reduce your chances of needing to make a claim. The most common claims for engagement rings are: mysterious disappearance (i.e. loss), the ring falling down the drain, losing it while swimming, chipping it against something, or losing it on holiday. So, it’s safe to say that water and soap are definitely not your ring’s best friend. It could be worth taking off your ring when you’re in the shower, washing up, or before going for a dip in the sea or pool. It’s pretty difficult to avoid chipping your ring – if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, but if you want to avoid it falling out of its setting you may want to have a jeweller take a look at it every few years. Some policies may cover preventative repairs, so look out for that.
If you’re looking for innovative ways to avoid losing your ring, then there are various things you could do. Many people fall into the dangerous trap of taking off a ring to avoid it getting wet (when washing your hands, for example), and then forgetting about it and losing it. You could remedy this by putting it in a pocket when in unfamiliar locations, or having a dish by the kitchen sink to put it in when you wash up. Chances of scuffing it are increased in gyms so it could be worth taking it off or putting it on a chain around your neck. It’s even possible to buy silicone rings, such as these by Enso, which are more suited to an active lifestyle (and not as expensive as a traditional ring.) Other options include wearing your ring on a chain instead of on your finger and wearing ring protectors which slide over your ring. Often though, the easiest and safest thing to do is simply to take it off if you think it’s a little risky and to always put it in the same place so that you remember it better.
The next thing you’ll want to know is how to go about making a claim. If it’s lost or stolen, many insurers will want you to report it to the police within 24 hours and you’ll need to provide them with proof of ownership and either your receipt or an up to date valuation report, whichever is more recent. The process will vary between providers but generally it’s the same as usual – make contact ASAP. The same goes for making a change; different providers will have different approaches to changes, but the key thing is just to contact them (preferably before buying your cover) to find out how cooperative they are when it comes to changes and if you’ll be charged anything extra.
Finding the right insurance for you can be a bit of a hassle, but don’t let it distract you from enjoying engaged life or planning for the big day! If all goes to plan, you won’t have to think about your insurance again until renewal time, so it’s easiest to get it out of the way and then focus on the exciting stuff. Feel free to get a quote here or see about adding your ring to your contents insurance.
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