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Jewelry insurance

Hi.
I have a client who asked for jewelry insurance( damaged, stolen, lost).
Anybody knows how these works,how to start or what to look having this option for clients.
Thank you very much.

Robert

My homeowners insurance covers $5,00.00 (insurance value) ring for only $40 dollars a year. They took a picture for their records.

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I investigated this a little…there are companies that specifically insure jewelry against loss, theft and damage. Or you can inquire about coverage thru your homeowners policy and see whether they cover damage and loss that is not due to theft. Homeowner policies have a limit amount on jewelry coverage and will cover “scheduled” items beyond that limit for a specific per-thousand-dollar-of-value fee. The scheduled items are listed on a schedule along with their value and probably an appraisal specifying insurance replacement value will be required for expensive pieces. Some companies will accept an appraisal from the jeweler where the item was bought, which saves the expense of an independent appraisal. One company that insures jewelry specifically also provides complimentary prong retipping and cleaning, which I thought was interesting.

Not related to this query is the field of insurance replacement, which some of the jewelers on this forum might be interested in. Insurance agents will send you the specification for the jewelry to be replaced and you then source the metal and the stones and build the replacement piece (or buy it somewhere). You get the replacement cost or some agreed upon quoted amount for the replacement and you should be able to make a profit. The insurance company is only interested in a reasonable price for the replacement, and since you can source the metal and stones at wholesale or less, you can make money. Maybe some folks who already do this work can comment on it. I find it an interesting area, but I don’t have the casting facilities which would make this kind of thing profitable. -royjohn

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What your client will need is a “floater” for their home owners or rental insurance policy. My insurance company calls it a “Valuable Personal Property Policy”. Standard home owners/rental policies only. cover a small amount for jewelry, silver ware, art, coin collections, antiques, and rare books.
Most all insurance companies require an appraisal from a GIA certified jewelry appraiser. Store appraisals are often unacceptable and inaccurate because the retailer will often inflate the value of the piece as well as the quality to make the customer feel like they got a good deal. Also be aware of the “Like and Kind” amendment on the policy. Insurance companies often have their replacement specialists buy and pass on to the customer inferior pieces. I insure my jewelry, silver, and computers at current retail replacement value.

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Royjohn; that insurance replacement seems something narrow with potential

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@RobertM…I guess you would have to inquire with insurance reps to discuss the extent of insurance replacement business. I guess there are not that many people able to source the diamonds necessary for such work, and if you do well at it, you might be a company’s go-to guy or gal.

@jhaemer52…I don’t doubt that many insurance companies require a GIA certified jewelry appraisal, but the company I looked at that specifically does jewelry insurance (don’t remember their name now) says that they accept an appraisal from the jeweler from whom you purchased the piece. Perhaps they can do this because their “Like and Kind” clause allows them some liberty in the quality of the replacement. Or maybe they are using the stated retail price to figure their replacement cost. IDK. A lot to investigate there for the savvy consumer or the jeweler advising said consumer. -royjohn

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I have had, over the years, 1 or 2 requests from insurance companies covering the loss of their clients pieces of mine. This one insurer wanted to see if they could get a discount on buying a replacement piece. I replied that this was not acceptable to me as it made no sense that I should underwrite their loss by selling for less. No further discussion, they paid; I made.

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I’m suspicious of a company that offers free prong retipping and cleaning. Especially if one has to send the ring to them or one of their “authorized partner” jewelers. “Well sir or madam, your ring needs work. If we don’t do it your policy will be voided.”
But then I am suspicious of all insurance companies. They are not your friends. They are in it for the money. As you said “The insurance company is only interested in a reasonable price for the replacement” They often low ball the price and quality. The same with car insurance. If it’s an older car or ring they assume that it’s value will be much lower due to wear and tear. That’s why our policy has current retail replacement value.

The company I referred to is BriteCo. Their website says:

To sweeten the deal, we even provide complimentary maintenance repairs for your diamond and gemstone jewelry pieces, including:

Stone tightening
Clasp replacement
Restringing of broken or stretched pearl strands
Prong retipping
Broken, worn, or bent prongs for rings
Broken earring posts

Their rates seem to run about $1/mo per thousand dollars of value. I’m as suspicious as the next guy, but it seems to me they are merely trying to get your business and keep the jewelry from losing stones or being lost. But you can look at the website and judge for yourself. -royjohn

I’m with Jo on insurance companies. In 1990 a little law was passed in congress. You can no longer sue an insurance company. You can go through your states insurance regulation board to go at the insurance company, but that is next to impossible. It’s Catch 22. You have to have insurance, but they don’t have to live up to their policies. Can’t tell I hate insurance companies. I’ve learned to make at least health insurance companies cry. Then I’m a bit*h from hell when pissed. First encounter was when my son was born. The insurance company sent a rejection letter for the claim through the mail, federal offense #1, across state lines, federal offense #2, And why did they reject our insurance claim for the birth? They claimed it was a work related accident. I wrote back on a copy of the letter highlighting everything in yellow highlighter, “I don’t like what you are calling me! Yes I slept with my boss, but I’m married to him!” Even things that weren’t covered were paid for in less than 10 days.

Jewelry should be protected. Research the insurance company and read about them from comments on line. I usually go through about 10 pages of online comments about a company to get a better view of are the comments valid or just isolated instances. I know I over do things, but It’s better than me getting peeved. Short of a personal squad of guards and massive vaults insurance is a necessary evil.

Aggie… Who has low blood pressure. Getting mad at insurance companies raises it up to normal. Call it cardiac therapy.

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I had Jewelers Mutual 39 out of the 41 years I was in business and would still be using them if I were still in business. Luckily I didn’t need to use their services very often, but, when I did they came through without any hesitation. They never low balled me or questioned our documentation. Had I not been insured with them, the losses would have been devastating.

They also provided policies for our retail consumers. My customers seamed satisfied with their replacement service, and we were able to do the work. Yes, we did work with them on the replacement costs, I felt it was worth it keeping my customers satisfied and coming to us, and we were able to supply our customers with exactly what they had paid for originally. We did not offer discounts to other insurance companies, and didn’t get that much replacement business because of it, only when our customers would demanded for us to remake the piece of jewelry, would the other insurance companies relent and have us make the piece. This was fine with me, I wasn’t in the insurance replacement business, to many compromises.

I’m not a GIA certified jewelry appraiser*, but we never had our documents rejected, that I can recall. We never called it an appraisal. We furnished the customer with an estimate to replace. We did not inflate the price listed on the estimate. We used the price of what we sold the piece to the customer. We used the following verbiage on the document:

“Just a word of explanation on the Estimate to Replace. This document set forth our best estimate to replace the ring in today’s market. This is not a traditional appraisal. The appraisal often inflates the value of the item in an effort to account for changes in the market place.
Due to the fact that most insurance companies require an updated evaluation of the piece every three to five years, we feel that the Estimate to Replace is a more accurate indicator of the value of the piece. Also, you are not paying to insure a piece for a value far beyond the actual cost to replace is, as can happen with a traditional appraisal.”

If the ring or pendant was commercially made, we used the following verbiage:
“Note: This is a commercially made ring mounting. Replacement value is based on replacing the ring ring with a similar commercially made ring mounting. If an exact replica is desired, this may result in a higher replacement cost for a custom made mounting.”

For our own original work we would list our stamp and the karat of gold and that it was our design which may not be reproduced unless authorized by us, the original designer.

Dealing with most insurance companies over jewelry related replacements, was one of the most frustrating aspects of the retail jewelry business for me, but with Jewelers Mutual, it was never a fight like the others, they were a good company to deal with, I’d like to think they still are.

TJones Goldsmith

Some of my Work

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