Please offer any assistance to this: I have a long time customer that came
to me with her diamond and said that she thinks that she chipped it. I
verified that it was chipped and told her to contact her insurance rep. I
would in the meantime look for a replacement stone. She called upset and
said that her insurance adjuster said that they would replace the stone
but that it had to be through “their jeweler”. Is this normal or does the
customer have the right to use their trusted local jeweler? I would like
to see the profit of course be mine, and since I already have spent time
and will again since the customer is now upset over not being able to
trust jewelers ( the 20/20 scare) I will have to inspect the diamond that
she gets to allay her fears! thank you again please respond asap Tammie in
Fort Worth, Texas

Hi Tammie:
If the stone is chipped, can’t it be repolished or recut, if it is a
small chip she will lose little or no weight to the diamond and the
insurance company will be thrilled and I would think she would be happy to
keep her stone!

Hope this helps!
Antique & Estate Jewelry & Antiques

Please offer any assistance to this: I have a long time customer that

Find and read Fred Wards horror story about his personal experience with
an Insurance Companies Jeweler.

Share that with the customer involved, and both be very careful.

Tammy, In a previous life I was an insurance adjuster so I hope this
helps. Under the contract (insurance policy) your customer entered into
the insurance company has the option of repair or replacement, at their
option, and through the jeweler or company of their choice. Their
obligation is to restore their insured to the position they were in prior
to the loss. As a practical matter however there is always room for
negotiation. Depends on the company and the circumstances but if she
complains loudly enough they may accede to her wishes, but they don’t
have to. If you can compete with the price they are getting from their
source they would very likely do so just to keep their insured happy.
Jerry in Kodiak

I dont know about the insurance law in your state, but here in
Pennsylvania it is illegal for an insurance adjuster to force replacement
through a specific jeweler. They can, however, obtain a replacement price
from the lowest possible bidder, and because of this you may have to be
more competitive in your pricing/profit. Your customer should be allowed
to view any correspondence vis -a- vis their claim… Let me know how you
make out… don’t let them bully you or your customer. Rob Ringold

This normal for the US insurance industry. Most insurance companies have
arrangements with suppliers of all kinds of items. In return for all or a
large percentage of the insurance companies replacement business the
suppliers are required to give the insurance companies a very good price.

If you where an insurance company you’d do the same thing.

Even with this way of doing business, the insured is still entitled to th
e same size & quality of stone as the damaged one was before the damage
occured. The insurance company will probably require the insured to give
them the damaged stone. None of this precludes the insured from having
their own jeweler inspect the replacement stone. This stiuation points out
the value of having an appraisal done on valuable items.

Typically, most homeowners policies will only pay up to $1,000.00 on an
unlisted jewelry items. If you want a more expensive item covered, it
generally must be added to the policy on a rider, for which an addition
premium is charged. Appraisals are generally required for jewelry riders.

Very few people think to check their policies about the technicalities of
how a claim will be handled when the policy is purchased.


I verified that it was chipped and told her to contact her insurance
rep. I would in the meantime look for a replacement stone. She called
upset and said that her insurance adjuster said that they would replace
the stone but that it had to be through "their jeweler


She can demand to go to you. Also if the insurance company says they will
only give her the wholesale amount, she can demand the full insured
amount. Say her appraisal was for $5000.00 and they say its only “worth”
$2500.00. She needs to counter that she paid to insure a $5000.00 dollar
item and that what she expects!

The adjusters job is to save the insurance company money. He very likely
knows nothing about jewelry and has a deal with this other jeweler. She
needs to ask to get what she wants. If she doesn’t get it she needs to
threaten to call her state insurance commissioner, they investigate every
complaint and are an advocate for the customer, and a big pain for the
insurance company. That will usually get the adjuster to back down. Also
you do not need to give the insurance company a discount, they will tell
you that you are ruining the business, just tell them that you never give
discounts and charge your regular price. They have plenty of money, much
of it yours.

Mark P.

Tammie, Over the years I have been involved in trade shop work with some
very well known corporations. There seems to always be an associate with
the company who is “in charge” of insurance replacement accounts. They
have done the footwork and established a relationship with the insurance
agent or adjuster to supply replacements (stones, repairs, entire
mountings, etc.) at a considerable discount in exchange for their
exclusive business. It doesn’t seem fair unless you were the one who did
the footwork in the first place. I don’t know if the insured is entitled
to a choice. It should be covered in their policy. Patty on MO.

hi tammy,

it depends on the policy and the company. ask your customer to read her
policy carefully. it could be the adjuster is forcing an issue that your
customer doesn’t have to comply with. however, many policies do have the
provision that the insurance co. can use their own jeweler at
their option. i hate to say this but it is true that the insurance co.
loves to receive a retail price insurance premium but hates to pay the
retail price in the event of a loss. kinda like a hmo.

one way around this is (in retrospect) is for your customers to insure
their jewlelry thru jewelers mutual. that way you are virtually assured of
doing the replacement.

may i also suggest that you can suggest to have the stone recut instead of
replaced. again depending on the policy, the insurance co may cover a
recut and any loss in value.

best regards,

geo fox

the insurance company is also bound by the terms of the contract they
entered into with your customer, and it is quite possible that your
customer’s policy does not support the insurance company’s position in
this matter. If there is a bone of contention it is always wise to review
the language of the contract. Just my 2 cents, my day job involves
obtaining payment from insurance companies.

Good Luck,