Last Valentine’s Day American’s spent roughly $4 Billion on gifts of jewelry. Since sparkling gifts have become such a popular gift item at this time of year we thought we would do our best to review the ABCs of Insurance Coverage for jewelry.
A is for Appraisals
We cannot understate the importance of having regular appraisals for your precious pieces. The markets for gold and precious stones fluctuate frequently so we recommend re-appraising every 3 – 5 years. If you do not have an up to date appraisal and your jewelry is lost or stolen, you may not be able to receive the full value of the item when you file a claim. If you have no appraisal not only do you run the risk of recouping less than the full value of the item, the carrier will request one and the result could be a delay in payment of the claim.
B is for Background Checks
No one wants to consider that their domestic staff may one day steal your valuable jewelry, but sadly this is a common occurence.
If you have a maid, nanny or other domestic worker, be sure to insist on a background check and we recommend a surveillance camera such as Nest.
C is for Cache
If you have a soft spot for beautiful jewelry we encourage you to place your most valuable pieces in a cache for safe keeping. When it comes to storing your jewelry there are a few important things to keep in mind. The safest place for them may be a bank vault, but if you opt for a home storage solution be sure that the safe is BOLTED to the floor. We also recommend that the safe is connected to your central station alarm.
D is for Disclose
Be sure that when you add a piece of jewelry to your collection you disclose that information to your insurance agent. If you neglect to add it to your policy there might not be coverage at the time of loss. Keep in mind that the more information your insurance agent has about your life and your possessions, the better they are able to protect you and the things you care about.
E is for Enhancement
Most conventional homeowner’s policies severely limit coverage for jewelry. For this reason, it is recommended that valuable jewelry be specifically scheduled on a Valuable Items Policy such as a Collections Policy or an Inland Marine Policy. There are two types of coverage when you schedule your jewelry: Actual Cash Value allows for depreciation and the company reserves the right to replace the item; and Agreed Value which ensures the claim will be settled for the insured value regardless of whether or not you choose to replace the items. This differs greatly from a carrier whose contract wording states that they will pay the lesser amount if the carrier can replace the item at a lower cost through its wholesaler.
With our partner companies, coverage is worldwide, there is no deductible, and the Open Perils form is used.
- With blanket coverage you receive an overall coverage limit for your jewelry item(s). There is often a maximum limit per item. At the time of a loss, as no items are listed, you must identify and verify the value of the item.
- With scheduled coverage your jewelry items are specifically listed along with the replacement cost per item. With our carriers, the Agreed Value form is used. In other words the value is pre-agreed prior to a loss. There is no deductible and coverage is worldwide.
F is for Fix
If you discover a loose stone on your engagement ring or notice that the clasp of your necklace is not working as well as it should we urge you to have it fixed right away. It is better to have your jewelry repaired and restored rather than losing it and having to deal with filing a claim.
Advocate Brokerage believes in educating our clients so that they have the information needed to make important decisions when it comes to protecting their possessions. We hope this blog serves as a gentle reminder to protect your newly purchased jewelry. Now might be a good time for you to have a conversation with us about a Valuable Items or Collections Policy. We love hearing from you!