What you need to do to protect high-value items
Did you receive jewelry as a gift this holiday season? Perhaps it was the long-awaited engagement ring, or diamond earrings, or an expensive watch. If so, you might be wondering how you should go about protecting these precious items.
Know the Value
The first step, of course, is to know the value of the item. Consult a reliable appraisal firm to get a certificate of value. If you’re unsure who to consult, try asking your insurance agent who has undoubtedly dealt with the situation before and who would have the name of one, if not several, competent appraisers.
Appraisals Don’t Last Forever
Be aware that there is a time limit on appraisals of all jewelry containing precious gems and metals. When a professional appraiser evaluates your jewelry, the resulting appraisal will certainly be valid at the time of the appraisal report. It will remain so for some time thereafter, but not forever. Most appraisers will note the time limitations in their reports – typically up to several years. The length of time an appraisal can be valid for use if the item is stolen or lost will depend on the ever-fluctuating jewelry market as well as the economy. Thus, it’s important to remember to have precious items re-valued every few years for an accurate appraisal.
Know Your Insurance Options
Once you have the appraised value, then you’ll want to insure the items. Assuming that you have either homeowners or renters insurance, then you will likely already have some limited coverage for precious items such as your new jewelry since standard home insurance policies typically cover loss of personal belongings in the event of perils such as fire, windstorm, theft and vandalism. However, the liability coverage for jewelry in the event of theft is usually relatively low because jewelry can be easily stolen.
If you wish to have greater coverage to protect your jewelry, you have a couple of options. You can either raise the level of liability on your policy or purchase a floater policy for each piece. Raising the liability level is less expensive in terms of the premium but still limits the amount that can be claimed. Individual floater policies could have higher premiums, but they also provide protection beyond theft such as for accidental loss.
You will want to discuss your insurance options with your agent who can advise you and help you determine what offers you the best protection for your jewelry and other precious items.
The Latimer Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency in Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) offering business/commercial insurance, auto insurance for your vehicle, home insurance for homeowners, renters and condo dwellers, and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA) Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE), New York (NY), West Virginia (WV), North Carolina (NC) and Washington DC since 1919. Our experienced insurance agents at our office Bethesda, Maryland (Montgomery County) welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time. The scope of your insurance coverage and options depend entirely upon the policy and the insurance company providing it. This website is not intended to advise, offer or bind coverage. You should always discuss your insurance issues with professionals such as a licensed and qualified insurance agent before making any decisions or choosing a course of action.