Caring for Jewelry

More than $1.1 billion worth of jewelry and precious metals are stolen annually, and less than four percent of items are recovered.* While theft is also a leading cause of jewelry claims for customers, the biggest culprit is “mysterious disappearance”—losing track of items that often hold tremendous sentimental value on top of financial value. 

AIG analyzed their top 200 jewelry insurance claims, and here’s what was found: 7% of losses resulted from accidental breakage  |  41% resulted from theft/deception  |  52% resulted from mysterious disappearance

Consider some of these common-sense- though often overlooked- preventative measures to help you protect your jewelry by following some common-sense—though often overlooked—preventative measures.   

In your home

  • Store jewelry in a safe and only remove pieces just before wearing.
  • Safes should be bolted into the structure of your home so they cannot be removed and broken into later. 
  • For high-valued collections, use an Underwriters Laboratory-listed safe that is rated to withstand a two-hour burn. 
  • The first place thieves tend to look for jewelry is the master bedroom. Put your safe in a less obvious place. The bedroom can be used to house a “decoy” safe or one that only holds frequently worn items.  
  • Conduct background checks on private staff. Many jewelry thefts are inside jobs.

While traveling

  • Jewelry should be worn or kept on your person. Treat jewelry like a wallet—never let it out of sight.
  • Keep a list of the items you are carrying. Leave a copy at home or in a place separate from the jewelry.
  • Always store jewelry in the hotel safe or safe deposit box when it is not worn.  
  • Jewelry that is not worn in transit should be protected in a padded jewelry portfolio—never in a checked bag.
  • Wearing jewelry in airports and on commercial aircraft increases the chance of loss and can compromise personal safety. Consider shipping items to your destination instead.


  • The risk of jewelry damage or loss is greatly elevated during shipping. Only consider shipping as a last resort.
  • If necessary, use specialized jewelry shipping services rather than standard overnight services.
  • Shipping jewelry via a specialized jewelry shipper is also recommended when purchasing jewelry on vacation or transferring it to a seasonal residence.
  • When possible, identify local jewelers for all repairs, maintenance and appraisals. 

For more information, contact your independent insurance advisor or email