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Insurance for jewelers?


Dear all,

I am considering leaving my job and committing to jewelry full time.
I’m wondering about two things: HEALTH insurance, and
INVENTORY/EQUIPMENT (not sure if that’s the right term) insurance.

HEALTH: Is there a guild or other jeweler society (SNAG or JBOT,
for instance) that offers health insurance to members at a reduced
rate? If not, does anyone have any tips or recommendations about
being self-insured? Any sense of what it costs?

INVENTORY/EQUIPMENT: I’d like to get some sort of insurance to
cover my inventory, tools, and equipment in case of disaster or
theft. Can anyone recommend insurers who do this sort of thing?
Again, any sense of cost and whether it’s worth it?

Thanks in advance for any and all input.

Amanda Linn


Jewelers Mutual in Neenah WI is a jewelry only insurance company,
probably the best and most knowledgeable in the country. They can’t
help you with the health insurance but will give you a policy to
cover inventory and other business types of insurance. You will have
to contact them and ask who their agent in your area is. Insurance
in our business is a requirement not an option.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140



Health insurance is a tough topic. I spent over a year researching
the issue for an article in AJM, and can’t say I came up with any
good answers. What kind of access you’ll find to health insurance,
and how much it will cost, depends entirely on where you live. Every
state has a different set of rules governing health insurance
offerings, including what type of plan you can buy, what will be
covered, and whether you can be rejected for health coverage. To
learn more about your state’s regulations, visit your state’s
insurance department. For a list of such departments, visit Of visit Georgetown
University’s Institute for Health Care Research and Policy at, where you can found downloadable
brochures for each state.

Because of the rather byzantine set of rules governing health
insurance state to state, you probably won’t find any national
associations offering true group policies, although many offer access
to endorsed providers, who are supposed to give association members
the lower rates available. You may also have better luck with local
associations, such as the local Chamber of Commerce. Your success
there will depend on your state’s laws: some states permit
associations to form groups to purchase health insurnce, other states
don’t. There’s currently a law being debated in congress that would
allow national associations to cut through this red tape, but last
time I checked it was not yet law.

If you’d like a copy of the article, drop me a note and I’ll e-mail
you a PDF.


Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255


Regarding health insurance: for our family of four, COBRA was going
to be in between $800 and $900 per month. COBRA is only allowed, by
law, to be 102% of the actual cost of the benefits-the 2% extra is
to cover administrative costs. For one person, my husband, it was
around $300 per month. That’s health insurance only, not
prescriptions, vision, or dental.

Dawn Stevenson


Re: Insurance…Bottom line? IT’S WORTH IT!!! For health
insurance…get a large deductible if you’re in good health , can pay
for some of your own care and don’t think you’ll need a lot of
medical care in the next year. You can always lower your deductible.
WE have Blue Sheild for self empl;oyed. Business Insurance? Always
feels like wasted money until you need it. I speak from experience!
Ask the good people at CERF what happens to a self emplowed artist
when trouble strikes nd you have no back up! They see it all the
time. A good insurance company not only backs you financially but
they are experienced in handling any type of disaster you’re likely
to have and they can be extremely helpful with advice and calm when
you are really in need of both. I know insurance companies have a
terrible reputation, but they have been there for me in a big way
when I needed them. State Farm tisn’t taking on new home owner
clients in Calif. They 've been great to us…maybe in other states?
International Sculpture Society has group programs you can look into
for business insurance as does ACC. good luck


Search the archives on this, there have been many discussions and
referrals on this. For starters, go to the website of the Society
of American Silversmiths, do I have that right folks? I think it’s Extensive insurance options. Also, the Chicago
Artists Coalition has health and dental.

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Studio 925; established 1992

For starters, go to the website of the Society of American

Hi Elaine, Great referral… but he URL is: All the best,

Dave Sebaste


For those of you who constantly argue with me about…

Asking customers for values on their envelopes:

You argue that it’s a free appraisals, you don’t want the back and
forth with the customer, yada, yada, yada.

I just spoke to a small-medium size jeweler in California who wanted
to get verbage on his job envelopes.

They NEVER asked values and thus underinsured customer’s jewelry by

professional job. The burglars came through the roof at night, undid
all alarms, and used a sledge hammer on siren and bells. They used
that “plasma” torch and cut right through a TL15 safe.

3 months ago they NEVER asked customer values.

No they ask EVERYONE. Amazing how you can do it.

You need to put values so you can add them up 2-3 times a year so
you can talk intelligently to your insurance agent.

You can figure an AVERAGE of $1000 of value per envelope as a start.
350 jobs = $350,000. easy!

We’d keep 450 jobs in the store and insured customers jewelry for

My bill with Jewelers Mutual was $11,000 per year.

I liked being insured.

David Geller