By: Advocate Brokerage

If you plan to give a piece of jewelry as a Valentine’s Day gift, make sure that as soon as you purchase it to have it insured.

Planning on giving jewelry for Valentines day?

Planning on giving jewelry for Valentines day?

Many people assume that jewelry is covered under their homeowners’ insurance. This may not be the case as many homeowners’ policies set limits for the loss of certain categories of personal property, including jewelry (providing very limited coverage (anywhere between $1,000 – $5,000 max.), and often with a maximum per item limit (this varies from company to company). Also, these policies may cover theft, but not lost or damaged jewelry.

It is important to contact your insurance agent immediately to get the best coverage available. Make sure to get information about Collection Policy, Personal Articles Policy, or Inland Marine policy (they are all the same).  Or what our clients call it “scheduled items”. When you schedule the items, the company and the client “agree” on the value ahead of time, and the company will pay the client that amount at the time of a loss.  But not all valuable items policies are created equally.

We only sell “agreed value” coverage, which means you are guaranteed a check for the amount the item was scheduled for.  Other companies, like Allstate, only sell an “actual cash value” form, which means they reserve the right to replace the item… So if it is cheaper for them to go find a 2 carat diamond rather than paying the client $20,000, that is what they will do.  This causes many clients to revolt, as especially with engagement rings, the client might not want the same diamond after the items is lost or stolen… would you?

For this reason, we want you to get the information needed to make the right decision. According to our experts at Advocate Brokerage in Scarsdale, NY, these are the questions you should ask to your insurance agent:

  • Does my present homeowners’ insurance cover the jewelry I recently purchased against theft, lost and damage?
  • Do I need to have the jewelry appraised prior to obtaining insurance?  If so, are there appraisers that the company works that reports are acceptable?
  • Is there a deductible? How much does raising or lowering it impact on the cost of the policy?
  • Is the jewelry insured outside of my home?  What happens if it is lost while I am traveling or at an event?
  • Is the jewelry covered for replacement costs?  Can I get a cash settlement in lieu of buying a new piece?
  • What if the jewelry is damaged?  Does the policy pay for repairs?
  • Should my jewelry be kept in a safe deposit box rather than in a home where it could be stolen?  How does the policy differ in cost depending on where the jewelry is kept?

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to review any other policies you may have that insure jewelry to make certain they are up-to-date.  We know sometimes it can be a challenge; but, if you’re planning to buy jewelry to give to a loved one this Valentine’s Day, here is some advice to help ensure you’re getting what you paid for and protecting it as well.

Buy the stone first, but set it in a simple setting. Don’t get caught up in the idea of a pre-set ring. Buying the stone first allows you to better see the quality and clarity of the stone. Put it in a simple, changeable setting, as many insurance companies won’t insure a loose stone.

Get the stone(s) appraised by a graduate gemologist. An inexperienced salesperson often does not have the know-how to provide an accurate appraisal service, so ask the appraiser for his or her credentials. It’s also important to get your stone appraised by an independent third party. Relying on an in-store appraisal would like having a real estate agent provide an appraisal of your house—it could be seen as a conflict of interest.

Protect it before you give it. Don’t wait to give the gift before you decide to insure it. A lot could happen between the time you buy it and the time you give it—theft, damage or loss.

Start a jewelry routine to prevent loss. Those who are receiving jewelry might not be used to having it and, therefore, run the risk of misplacing it. Start a daily routine for removing and caring for jewelry to keep from losing or damaging it.

Giving a gift of jewelry is one way of saying “I love you” on Valentine’s Day.  Making sure that it is properly insured provides your loved one with peace of mind, which is priceless.

What are you giving this year? Share your surprises with us on the comment section or via Twitter @InsuranceAdvNY

Blog written by Almu Corazon and Mary Frances Duffy

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