Perspective Newsletter
Spring 2015
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Protect those sparkly holiday gifts

protect holiday gifts
​​​​​​When it comes to diamonds, jewelers talk about the Four C's – cut, color, clarity, and carats.

We'd like to add an important fifth C: Coverage.

That's because virtually every homeowners policy sold in the United States (including PEMCO's) limits theft coverage for jewelry.

What's covered and what's not

Standard homeowners policies typically protect your jewelry against fire and other named hazards, not unlike other possessions you own. However, because jewelry is such a high-theft item, policies limit the amount of theft coverage they automatically extend. For PEMCO, that's $2,500 per item, with a total cap of $5,000 if more than one item is stolen (subject to your policy's deductible).  

For many people, that's enough. But if you just unwrapped a really special holiday gift? You could be left short.

When it's time to "schedule" coverage

"Scheduling" is insurance-ese for buying extra coverage for a particular high-value item. Sometimes, people call it "adding a 'floater,' 'rider,' or 'endorsement.'"

A PEMCO representative or your local PEMCO agent can help you decide if you need extra coverage for theft. If so, we'll ask you for an insurance replacement appraisal for the item (which will save you money compared to a retail appraisal). You can get one from most jewelers; however we recommend you look for one who is certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gem Society (AGS), or International Gemological Institute (IGI). The appraisal will include a description of the item (at minimum, with points and carats) and often a photo or illustration. You should keep the original appraisal and send us a copy.

What does extra coverage cost?

You can buy per-item coverage for valuable pieces for $1.15 per $100 in appraised value (that would be $57.50 a year to insure a $5,000 ring). If you do need to make a claim, you won't pay any deductible.

You also might want to check with us if you scheduled a piece of jewelry a decade ago. Gold prices are still considerably higher than they were before the Great Recession, and you could be underinsured.

And a final thought on keeping your cherished jewelry safe: If you don't wear it daily, store it in a bank safe-deposit box or, if that's not an option, keep it at home in a fire-proof safe. And regardless of your insurance protection, you'll want to get your jewelry inspected once a year to detect broken prongs or loose stones.