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7 Tips to Protect Your Jewelry Collection

February 14, 2019

Personal Lines, Risk Management, Personal Life, Personal Insurance

With a diamond engagement ring costing an average of $6,351 (according to The Knot 2017 Jewelry & Engagement Study), it makes sense for you to have a way to replace your jewelry pieces if they are lost, stolen or misplaced. But, surprisingly, a vast majority of jewelry purchased is left uninsured. 

On the other hand, the value of jewelry is not simply monetary. Individual pieces often hold significant sentimental value and are irreplaceable.  A combination of the right insurance coverage and taking the proper steps to secure and protect your collection is critical.

Jewelry Insurance and Appraisal

 

The following are seven considerations to protect your possessions.

1. Daily care is key.
Everyone is human. Mistakes happen. Here are some everyday reminders.

  • Don't place jewelry in your pockets. You put yourself at risk of losing jewelry or running it through the wash.
  • Keep jewelry away from sinks, counters and public areas. Items may fall down drains or be forgotten or stolen.
  • During outdoor activities, playing sports or doing lawn work, remove your jewelry to avoid damage.
  • Take precautions when wearing gloves. Prongs from rings may catch on fabric, which could result in a loss.

2. Timely maintenance can prevent damage.
Whether you own a million-dollar ring or jewelry that is far less valuable, Janece White, Worldwide Signature manager for Chubb Personal Insurance, recommends adhering to this jewelry care checklist and offers specific instructions in regard to caring for your watches, diamonds, pearls, and gemstones.

You can also bring your jewelry to your jeweler for regular inspections in order to prevent any damage. Making sure mountings and prongs are secure can help to prevent loose stones and accidental loss.

3. Store your jewelry in a safe place.
Don’t keep your most valuable pieces in common storage areas, such as jewelry boxes or dresser drawers. These are the first places a thief may look. Instead, install a secure home safe with the appropriate fire and theft rating for jewelry or keep valuable items in a bank vault. According to Richard Krasilovsky, president and CEO of Empire Safe, all home safes are not created equal. In this article, he shares tips to make the selection, purchasing and installation of a home safe easier.

4. Know who has access to your jewelry.
Background checks for staff are critical. You should conduct background checks on all domestic employees. All too frequently, thieves know exactly which entrances are not monitored by camera or where a spare key is stored.

5. Don't let your guard down while traveling.
When traveling, keep expensive items with you at all times. Hold the hotel room safe to the same standards as you hold your home safe. If you have doubts as to its security, ask hotel management to hold the items in the hotel’s master safe. Don’t pack jewelry in your luggage or wear valuables to the pool or beach.

6. Have your collection appraised.
You may think that if you get your jewelry appraised immediately after purchase you are set for life. However, appraisals are only valid for a limited period of time. It is recommended that you have your jewelry appraisal updated every two years. If you are insuring your jewelry you will want to check your agent to find out how often your specific policy requires appraisals.

The reasons jewelry needs to be appraised every few years include:

  • Jewelry markets can be volatile and prices for certain stones change from year to year. You will want to have up to date information.
  • As the inflation rate changes the values of your jewelry may change. Again, up-to-date information is necessary especially for insurance purposes.
  • Any damage to your jewelry may impact the value. If you are passing jewelry on to beneficiaries and want to divide equitably you will want to verify the condition has not changed.

Make certain that you are using a reputable appraiser with certification for appraisals. If you have a jeweler you trust, ask for recommendations and then do your own checking of the person’s appraisal credentials. GEB is also happy to make recommendations.

7. Proper insurance coverage is necessary.
While the loss of these items can be upsetting, insufficient compensation would be devastating. You may not realize that your homeowners’ policy does not offer enough protection for high-value items. Make sure higher-value items are properly covered on a collections policy.

In addition, as mentioned above, maintaining updated expert jewelry appraisals is crucial to proper insurance coverage. An outdated appraisal could mean that your collection is significantly underinsured.

For assistance with insuring your assets, contact the GEB Personal Life team:

Betsy Clement
Vice President
504.619.5074
bclement@gillis.com
Brooke Davis, CISR
Personal Insurance Advisor 
504.619.1035
bdavis@gillis.com

 

Topics: Personal Lines, Risk Management, Personal Life, Personal Insurance