Most companies pay claims well. The problem enters where the
marketing arm - insurance agent or broker does not have the
experience/knowldege to properly write the exposure. Believe it
or not, in my 20 years in the business it has been my experience
that 98% of the insurance sales people have not actually READ any
policies. Verbal assurances mean nothing when it comes to
executing the contract. When you buy insurance you buy THE
CONTRACT. When your agent tells you something is covered, ask
him/her to show you where the words are that say it is covered.
You must always ask for a “specimen policy” prior to purchasing it
and read it yourself. Read the definitions first or at the same
time that you read the insuring agreement. Then read the
exclusions. Have a pad of paper next to you as you do this. Write
down all questions and what-ifs AS you read the policy. Go back
with your written questions - extra copy to give to the agent
because you may be forcing them to answer questions they must
research. In many cases policies can be customized - but it must
be done prior to purchase. My best suggestion is to attempt to
find an agency/broker that has specialized in jewelers. I’m sure
they’re out there, but this has not been my area of expertise. I
will scout for some and report back.
There are policies (very recent genesis) which now package
business coverage in a homeowners policy. The problem is that
most of these will be designed for an office exposure. The
high-value-in-a-small- package exposure of jewelry has
traditionally been covered by a jewelers block policy and would
not be able to be put on a homeowners to my knowledge. The other
concern is that I suspect coverage would end up being the
materials plus a shop labor cost and not include any markup.
Insurance is supposed to return you to where you were before the
loss. So the value covered will be the cost to you - not the cost
after it is sold - unless you find a very specialized policy.
I’ll post more specific info if I find such.
Your ideas about not looking like you are carrying jewelry are
excellent risk management approaches. Kathy Dion