All that Glitters Deserves the Best Coverage
Jewelry is more than a value on an insurance policy. Jewelry commemorates significant life events and are an enduring reminder of those events. It most likely has a higher sentimental value than an economic value.
Jewelry is both a high value item that drives claim severity, but its presence in and out of the home makes it a high frequency claim item. Jewelry is small in size and high in value. It can be easily converted to cash. Theft and loss are the most frequent claims seen with jewelry.
What is Covered?
Insurance is not a commodity product, a survey of homeowners and condominium unit owners’ forms from a single carrier had the following coverages and limits built into the base coverage forms.
If you are not aware of the specific policy form in force, you can have insurance from a major
company but different levels of coverage.
Pair and Set Coverage
Jewelry is often sold in sets and pairs. The value of the pair or set is based on all pieces being present. The loss of one part can diminish the values significantly. A review of the same insurance forms have different coverage for pairs and sets. Only one form offers a replacement cost option for loss to a portion of a pair or set.
Personal Articles Endorsement
If you have values greater than the limits within the standard policy form, you can add a personal articles endorsement to your policy. The personal articles endorsement covers the property against “physical loss” This means accidental physical loss or accidental physical damage. With this form in place, you have coverage for theft and misplacing or losing the jewelry.
The Personal Articles endorsement requires that you specifically list and identify the items to be insured. The schedule of values must be complete, and coverage is not provided for items not listed.
Newly acquired items must be reported within 90 days of acquisition. Within this 90-day period the maximum coverage is 25% of the limit for that type of item, not to exceed $50,000. Settlement terms are actual cash value only.
The endorsement may have an inflation guard provision to add to the values annually based on an inflation factor.
The personal articles endorsement provides the broad pairs and sets language that offers a replacement cost option.
Many insureds ask if they need to have their jewelry appraised to have coverage. The more important question is how did you arrive at the values you assigned to the items on your schedule? The policy does not specifically require that appraisals be provided, but the loss adjustment terms indicate that the values are the market value at time of loss. Since jewelry can be passed from generation to generation, the purchase price may not be the best valuation for your property. Styles change and market value can change with these trends.
Most jewelers will offer a written appraisal on items they sell you for no fee. Many jewelers offer appraisal services for other pieces at a fee. Having these documents will assist you in setting accurate values and also providing a clear identification description for the piece.
If you have appraisals, please provide these with your list of items for the schedule. Maintain a copy of these documents in a safe place, separate from the jewelry, so they are available if needed at time of loss. Scanning the documents and storing them in the cloud is an excellent way to safeguard them and make them immediately available if needed.
The Driehaus Difference
We know that terms and conditions vary within every company’s coverage forms. We discuss your needs and can identify the coverage that fits you. We can help you with assembling the descriptions and information needed for a personal articles endorsement and collect the supporting information and make sure the insurer has the documentation they need. Fitting coverage to you is what we do best. Reach out to us at 513-977-6860 or on the internet at www.driehausins.com.