May 26, 2011

5 Things You Forgot to Ask About Your Jewelry Insurance

Posted in appraisal, jeweler, jewelry, rose diamonds tagged , , , at 4:35 pm by rosediamonds

In the wake of the horrific storm season, we are seeing a lot of clients who are reviewing their homeowners coverages–just in case.   The tornado that leveled Joplin, MO is about an hour’s drive from my location here in Springfield, MO.

I worked in the insurance/finance industry for years before I became a gemologist, and I was licensed for both personal and commercial lines in FL.  I sat down yesterday with my neighbor, Craig Golmen, a Shelter Insurance Agent, to discuss the general population’s level of understanding of their homeowners policies.  Some major things overlooked were:

  1. Renters not having any coverage.  We discussed how replacing your wardrobe, condiments in the fridge, basic household electronics, kitchen gadgets, etc. can really add up if you have the misfortune of losing everything in a natural disaster.  He says renter’s coverage is around $10 per month.
  2. Some insurance policies have a limit per item on jewelry replacement.  For example, this means that even though you are covered up to $2500, there may be a $1000 per item limit.  This would make Swiss watches, engagement rings, etc suddenly NOT covered.
  3. Insurance companies vary on the payout method in the event of a loss.  Check whether  your company replaces the jewelry at a jeweler of your choice, whether they assign a jeweler to you for replacement, or whether they just mail you a check for the stated appraisal amount.  Some will only reimburse you after you shell out for a new item.
  4. Some insurers replace the item for a “like item.”   This means that a discontinued Seiko watch would be replaced with a similar model and a plain gold wedding  band would be replaced with the same one even if the value had fluctuated since it was purchased.  (very likely since the gold price has skyrocketed)  If your insurance company is a stickler for the appraisal amounts, get your jewelry reappraised every 5-10 years–or when there is a big swing in prices.
  5. Most homeowners policies only cover a small amount of jewelry.  Craig mentioned that people don’t realize they need a separate policy/amendment to cover larger items (like their engagement ring, Rolex, etc).  New purchases have to be added to your policy for it to be covered (duh).  It’s a phone call people forget to make in the wake of their excitement over their new anniversary bands.
Because each insurance company is different, my final word of advice is just to give your agent a call to “cover your bases.”  It’s not the kind of shock you need following a disaster that you weren’t covered and could have easily been.
PS. Craig says a lot of people with basements should make sure they have the “back-up of drain” amendment checked.  If your sump pump stops working, you can get stuck with a $13,000 bill.
Hope that helps open up the conversation with your insurance company.


  1. […] See the original post here: 5 Things You Forgot to Ask About Your Jewelry Insurance […]

  2. […] Go here to see the original: 5 Things You Forgot to Ask About Your Jewelry Insurance […]

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