New Baubles May Need New York Jewelry Insurance Coverage

Gifts of Jewelry Deserve Some Love of Their Own

Antique art nouveau dragonfly pendant

Valentine’s Day is a dream for sellers of roses, chocolate and jewelry, and plenty of fun for people who both give and receive them as gifts. But only one of the three represents an investment an owner should insure.

If you gave or received a pricey present that sparkles, we at Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc., are thrilled for you. But we also want this gift cared for because love alone won’t protect it. We love our baubles in NYC; jewelry insurance coverage is easy to overlook because some losses are technically covered under most renter and homeowner policies. But those policies typically set limits on reimbursement for loss or theft of jewelry and precious stones, sometimes as low as $500 or $1,000.

In general, people who own expensive jewelry should ask their insurance companies about endorsements or floaters that often can result in full replacement cost if the item is stolen or damaged. Some firms offer stand-alone policies just for jewelry.

A few other tips for someone who’s just received a nice Valentine’s rock-in-a-box:

  • Let your insurer know as soon as possible about your jewelry and talk over with them the coverage that’s best.
  • If it’s an heirloom or antique, have a reputable appraiser assess its value. Whatever the owner receives from a claim will be based on this appraisal.
  • Keep jewelry in a secure location. Owners who plan to pass the jewelry on to a child or simply not wear it often should think about storing it in a safe-deposit box, which can mean a lower insurance rate for “in-vault” coverage.
  • Photograph your valuables. This can help speed up the claims process after theft or loss and help establish value, especially for rare or antique pieces.

After a few bad years in the recession, jewelry is showing signs of a comeback. Nationwide, jewelry sales rose to a record $63.4 billion in 2010 after two consecutive years of decline, according to a recent Jewelers Board of Trade report based on Commerce Department data. Of course, more sales mean more opportunities for thieves, and insuring your valuables is always a good idea.

We at Gotham Insurance Co., Inc., have ensured New Yorkers’ precious belongings for more than 50 years, in all five boroughs and throughout the Tri-State area. We know our clients value their great-grandmothers’ keepsakes as much as the engagement ring accepted over a romantic dinner on a chilly night in February 2011, and we’d love to talk with you about how to craft the best coverage for your prized jewels.

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