Over a year ago, I wrote about how we were going to get my lovely wife’s engagement ring appraised and insured that weekend. Well… ha ha, as all things are, it took a little longer than anticipated but we finally got it appraised in May and insured last week (yeah yeah, over a year later).
We eventually had it insured through Jewelers Mutual Insurance, recommended by the appraiser at Edward Arthur (where the piece was appraised). I had called up Traveler’s, our homeowner’s insurance policy underwriter, and received quotes that were similar priced. The logic was that, given the same premium, we should go with a company that deals with jewelry related claims on a regular basis rather than a general insurance company. Another reason was that in this case, a jewelry loss would have no effect on our homeowners insurance premium.
Replacement vs. Dollar Value Coverage
The type of insurance we purchased was for replacement coverage. That meant that if we did suffer a loss, JMI would replace our covered jewelry with something similar or better. The other option is where you get the dollar value of the appraisal. So if your piece was appraised at $5,000 and you somehow lost it, you would be compensated $5,000 for your loss.
As I was filling out the form, I started playing with the deductibles, coverage amounts, and “other factors” to see how they would affect the premium. For the sake of simple math, I put in the dollar value of the piece of be $10,000 and found that the difference between a $5000 deductible and a $1000 deductible was a mere $7 a year (8%). The premium went from $84/year for the $1000 deductible to $77/year for the $5000 deductible, though that does represent an 8% difference. This may seem like very little but the reason is because the item covered was an engagement ring/wedding band set that is worn daily. You could have no safe or an 80 lb. anchored floor safe with a digital lock, sharks with lasers, and your premium would not change because the piece is worn daily. (I made up the sharks part, but it’s likely that would have no effect)
That’s when I decided to have some fun and put in a $10,000 necklace that is worn only for special occasions. If you had no alarm, no safe, and just kept it in a hiding place while you weren’t wearing it, the premium would be $131 for a $1000 deductible and $120 for a $5000 deductible (9% difference). However, in changing the “other factors,” the premium didn’t change at all. Keeping the necklace at a safe deposit box at a bank still had a $131 premium. You could have an armed killer robot guard wear your necklace while you weren’t wearing it and it would still cost you $131 a year. It could be that those factors don’t affect the application’s calculator, since they are subject to verification, but it seemed like they should add a note if that was the case.
Unscheduled Jewelry Insurance
The items that you specify for coverage go on a “schedule.” Usually you have your more valuable or expensive pieces put on the schedule because you’ve had them appraised and would like insurance. Unscheduled is everything else and you can get a catch-all coverage for all those. At JMI, the coverage was $1000 with a $100 deductible for $15. If you wanted more coverage, it’s essentially at those intervals ($2000 of coverage with a $100 deductible cost $30/year). We didn’t elect this coverage.
The application process was a piece of cake. You can submit all the details online through a slick Flash-like form and then email, fax, or postal mail your appraisal forms to JMI for verification. Within ten minutes we had coverage, very technology friendly so far.
Knock another one off the checklist, albeit a year-plus from when we put it on.
(Photo by dbking)