2/14/2013 - How to properly protect your expensive Valentine's Day gift
The Insurance Information Institute reminds consumers that it may be in their best interest to insure the pricey gifts they give to their special someone.
"If you're lucky enough to get an expensive gold watch or a sparkling engagement ring for Valentine's Day, it's very important that you have the item properly insured," said Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute. "In most cases, you're simply going to give the bill of sale to your insurance company. If, however, you were given a family heirloom, what you're going to do is get that item appraised so you have its financial value."
And in order to guarantee that these valuables stay safe, homeowner's insurance can help. Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies include coverage for personal items such as jewelry and other valuables. However, many policies limit the dollar amount for the theft of valuable personal possessions such as jewelry, furs and precious stones to $1,000 to $2,000.
“To properly insure jewelry, consider purchasing additional coverage through a floater,” said Loretta Worters, vice president with the I.I.I. “In most cases, you would also be covered for ‘mysterious disappearance,' which means if your ring falls off your finger or is lost, you would be financially protected.”
To make sure your jewelry is adequately protected, the I.I.I. suggests the following steps:
• Contact your insurance agent. Talk to your agent to find out how much coverage you have and if additional insurance is needed.
• Have the item appraised. It is important that expensive items be appraised properly—if you purchase a floater or endorsement, you will pay a premium based on the appraised value and in the event of a claim, will be compensated for this dollar amount.
• Keep a copy of the store receipt. Forward a copy of the receipt to your insurer so that the company knows the current retail value of the item. Keep a copy for yourself and include it with your home inventory.
• Store valuables in a secure location. Protect your jewelry by storing it in a secure location in your home. If you do not plan to wear the item regularly or are holding it for a child, consider keeping it in a safe deposit box. You may save money on the cost of insuring it, as some companies offer ‘in vault' coverage.
• Update the value of your jewelry. Expensive items can go up or go down in value. Talk to your insurance professional about how to make sure the dollar amount of your floater or endorsement reflects these changes. Prices for floaters and endorsements will vary depending on the type of jewelry, the insurance company you choose, where you live and where the item will be kept.
• Take a picture of the item. Get into the habit of keeping a visual record of all of your personal possessions. This helps to document your loss and speed up the claims process.
• Add the item to your home inventory. An inventory can help you purchase the correct amount of insurance and speed up the claims process when there is a loss. The I.I.I. has created free, online software, Know your Stuff® - Home Inventory, to make creating a home inventory easier.