Jewelry is valuable not only because of its beauty, but the special meaning behind it. Does it represent 30 years of marriage? Was it passed down from a great grandmother? Was it given to you to celebrate a special moment? Between its sentimental value, as well as financial value, our local insurance agency wants you to be fully protected.

Anything can happen to your jewelry, whether it’s stolen, damaged or accidentally slips off your finger while swimming in the ocean. While memories of the jewelry itself cannot be replaced, a good insurance policy can provide financial protection to an unfortunate situation.

If you own jewelry that’s valued over $1,000, consider getting an insurance policy endorsement to insure its value.

Like other valuables coverage, insurance for your jewelry can simply be added to your home or renters insurance policy on something called a “floater.” It’s a simple insurance policy extension. A good policy will cover everything from theft and damage. The cost of coverage varies, typically $1 – $2 per $100 in value for a yearly policy. So, for a $5,000 ring, you’d expect to pay $50-$100. By calling George A. Bell & Son, we will ensure we find the best coverage for your jewelry. We can also help answer any questions regarding ‘what if’ situations.

Here are some questions to discuss with our agents so you fully understand your insurance coverage.

  • If your jewelry is stolen, will you be reimbursed the full amount you paid? What happens if it was accidentally lost?
  • If your jewelry has appreciated over the course of owning it, will your insurance company honor its new value or what you paid for it?
  • What happens if you simply lost a small piece of your jewelry? Would you insurance cover the cost of replacing the stone?
  • Don’t forget to ask for discounts! If you plan to safely store your jewelry when you are not wearing it, you could qualify for a discount from some insurance companies.

While we hope you never have to experience an insurance claim for your jewelry, it’s always important to be prepared.

Items you need in case your jewelry is lost or stolen:

  • Original Receipt
  • An appraisal – if you don’t have the original receipt, at least have an appraisal.
  • GIA Certificate or similar reputable certificate
  • Take photos of all of your jewelry and store them on the cloud or a zip drive that’s stored in your safe.

Keep these items in a safety deposit box or safe in your home. If you’d like to know more about insuring your jewelry, contact an agent at our office. We’ll give you the best options for insuring your jewelry as well as answer any other questions you may have.

The holiday season is a joyous time, but unfortunately, it is also top season for theft. If you walk around your neighborhood, it isn’t hard to see all the holiday deliveries left on porches of unsuspecting homeowners. Protecting yourself from theft is all about prevention. To avoid being a victim of holiday theft:

  • Have your deliveries sent to your work (if allowed)
  • Request valuable shipments be held by the shipper for in-person pickup. Most major shipping companies even have apps now that can help streamline this process.
  • See if your shipping company has additional options. Amazon recently introduced “lockers” where they will place your shipment in a locker with a special code just for you.
  • Does a retired relative live nearby? Have packages delivered to them. It is always a great opportunity to see family anyway.
  • Sign up for delivery notifications. Many companies send this to you by email, but many carriers have text message notifications.
  • Install a home surveillance system that focuses on the area where your packages are delivered. A pricier alternative if you can’t always be there to monitor your home.
  • Discuss with your neighbors to keep an eye out for unfamiliar vehicles.

Enjoying the holiday season is easy, but preventing theft isn’t always. We hope your holiday season is free of criminal activity.

If you have questions about your home or condo insurance, trust the insurance agents at George A. Bell & Son. George A. Bell & Son, Inc. is a full service property and casualty, independent insurance agency serving New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and various other states. Founded in 1880 as Bell Brothers Fire Insurance, we continue to be a family owned agency, with the fifth and sixth generations currently continuing the legacy of what those brothers started. We value ourselves on quality insurance, top notch customer service, and a focus on making sure our clients get the best value for their money.

According to the National Bike Registry, 1.5 million bicycles are stolen each year. With college campuses being the biggest source of bicycle theft, it would be great if there was a way to protect your investment that was quick and easy. The good news is that more than 48% of bicycles that are stolen are recovered, but of those, only 5% are able to be identified and returned to their owners.

The National Bike Registry and 529 Garage have partnered to create a database to track and store bicycle VIN numbers. Not only can you register your bike, but you can search their database for recovered bicycles in an effort to get yours back.

Bicycle theft is a rampant problem in the US and unless you want to submit a homeowner claim (please talk to your licensed insurance agent prior) you likely won’t see you bicycle again or be able to recover your losses. Bicycles are likely covered under your home, renters or condo insurance policy with your insurance carrier.

Register your bicycle today and rest assured that your bicycle is better protected and more likely to be returned in the event of being stolen.

For answers to everything insurance, trust the insurance agents at George A. Bell & Son. George A. Bell & Son, Inc. is a full service property and casualty, independent insurance agency serving New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and various other states. Founded in 1880 as Bell Brothers Fire Insurance, we continue to be a family owned agency, with the fifth and sixth generations currently continuing the legacy of what those brothers started. We value ourselves on quality insurance, top notch customer service, and a focus on making sure our clients get the best value for their money.

Much like you should insure your jewelry separately from your standard contents, it can be a good idea to purchase coverage for other valuables.

Unfortunately, it is often less obvious what to insure – in the case of jewelry, you know that pieces such as engagement rings, wedding bands, and family heirlooms need to be scheduled, but which items in your home should be covered by valuables insurance?

When To Take Out Insurance

If your hobby involves expensive equipment or you collect valuable items, you should consider taking out insurance. Here are some examples of possessions that our clients have scheduled:

  • Cameras and camera equipment
  • Golf clubs
  • Silverware
  • Wine collection for a client who managed a winery
  • Antiques, including turn-of-the-century furniture and a duck decoy collection
  • Dinosaur fossils
  • All kinds of fine arts

Fine Arts is easily the second most popular category of valuables after jewelry and is relatively inexpensive to insure. It encompasses many things such as paintings, sculptures, fine china, and more. It is possible to insure art from the moment of purchase, for coverage during transit, and while in the possession of another person (you must inform your insurance company when lending artwork to a museum).

Benefits Of Insuring Valuables

There are four main benefits of valuables insurance:

  • You can assign an exact value to individual items to ensure you receive the amount they are worth in the case of loss, theft, or damage.
  • The insurance company will have a description of the item, preventing a debate at the time of your claim.
  • There is no need to pay a deductible.
  • Items are insured for more perils than they would be with personal property coverage.

To understand just how beneficial valuables insurance can be, consider these stories about two of our clients:

One of our clients purchased a new painting for his NYC condo and hired a professional to hang it; however, after just a short time, the painting fell off the wall. Luckily, the painting was scheduled and his insurance company paid for damages to be repaired through a certified art restorer.

Another of our clients owned two oriental rugs, together worth around $120,000, both of which were severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy. After attempting to restore the pieces, his insurance company deemed them beyond repair and paid him the full value of each.

If you have a collection that you think you should insure, we can help you find the right coverage for your needs. 

Choosing the right insurance for your valuables can be a difficult process. We will look at your case to determine whether it would be best to schedule items individually or as a collection using blanket coverage.For further help and advice, contact us at George A. Bell & Son.

Did Valentine’s Day bring a glittery new surprise into your home this year? Just because it’s in your home, it is not necessarily covered by your homeowners insurance. Even if you have only a small jewelry collection, it is worthwhile taking out insurance.

Consider this: most homeowners’ insurance policies have a limit to how much you can receive if items are stolen, typically paying out between $2,500 and $5,000, after you meet your deductible. However, if an item is lost, it is very likely you will receive nothing.

The Importance of Having Jewelry Insurance

This true story about a longstanding client of ours demonstrates just how essential jewelry insurance can be:

Our client was, at the time, living in a large house in New Jersey. As the family no longer needed so much space or property, they decided to move to an apartment in Manhattan. One day, with their house on the market, our client left home to allow a couple of potential buyers the chance to look around the property. Upon returning, our client realized that the majority of the jewelry had been stolen from their bedroom. Our client immediately called the police, and then reported the theft to us.

The couple of potential buyers had left the country shortly after viewing the house, meaning our client was unable to regain her jewelry.

Luckily, she had taken out jewelry insurance and, as most of the pieces were covered by her policy, she was able to claim $140,000. Had she lacked coverage, she would only have received $5,000 from her insurance company, regardless of how much jewelry was taken.

Scheduling Valuable Items

The best way to ensure that high-value items are covered by insurance is to schedule (list) them on your policy, assigning specific values and descriptions to each. This has a number of benefits:

  • You will receive the agreed upon value from your insurance company if anything happens to your jewelry. Many companies even cover the appreciated value of an item even if you do not update this value for years.
  • You do not need to meet your deductible before receiving your payment.
  • Coverage for scheduled items is Open Perils rather than Named Perils, which significantly increases the type of losses covered.
  • Your contents coverage then becomes available for more unscheduled items.

When To Choose Blanket Coverage

If you own a large collection of jewelry but few items of high-value, blanket coverage could be a better option than scheduling. You will receive a coverage limit for the category of jewelry with no need to individually list pieces. You could also combine blanket with scheduled items for superior jewelry coverage.

If you think you need jewelry insurance, we can help you find the right coverage for your needs. Choosing the right insurance for your valuables can be a difficult process. Next month, we will discuss insurance for other valuable household items.

For further help and advice, contact us at George A. Bell & Son.