A Matter of Brilliance is a professional jewelry appraisal company based in Newton, MA, founded by Aimee Berrent, Graduate Gemologist. Our appraisals can be used to:
Last month we discussed some important questions to ask your insurance agent about protecting your precious jewelry and heirloom possessions. But wait — there’s more!
Here are four more questions to make sure you’ve clarified your coverage and responsibility (with thanks to Gail Levine, NAJA).
1.Homeowners or special policy?
Many homeowner policies cover loss of your belongings, such as jewelry, but there is usually a limit — often $1,000-$2,000. For more expensive items, you’ll need an endorsement to your policy, or even a separate policy (a rider, umbrella, or scheduled item). Make sure you have the required documentation, usually a photo of the item, a current appraisal, and a copy of the original store receipt.
2. What responsibilities do I have in keeping my jewelry safe?
Again, make sure you discuss the policy’s requirements with your agent. There may be specific measures you need to take at home or when you’re travelling to ensure the safety of your possessions. What will constitute negligence on your part? Will that void the policy? What do you need as proof of the loss (i.e., a police report). It’s better to know before you encounter trouble.
3. If one of a pair is lost, will insurance cover matching my missing piece?
A “pair and set” clause helps determine the payment you receive when part of a set or one of a pair (wedding band set, earrings, etc) is lost. Depending on your policy, you may be able to replace both pieces if a replacement piece cannot be found. Sometimes you’ll need to pay an additional premium for a pair and set clause. Ask your agent about it and know your options.
4. What if my piece is irreplaceable, like an old family brooch?
Normally, you’d insure any precious item for replacement value. But what if the item is irreplaceable? Obviously, you can’t insure for sentimental value. Again, the answer lies in a professional appraisal. So…if it’s a piece of costume jewelry that great grandma bought, you may not be able to get your insurance to cover it. For grandma’s silver teapot, however, you can be prepared. And while you won’t be able to replace the loss piece, you’ll have some compensation.
Hopefully you’ll never need to activate your insurance coverage, but be prepared by having an up to date appraisal. Contact me to set up an appointment to discuss your valuation needs.