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Itemized or Blanket Coverage for Jewelry?
It has happened to everyone, that take-your-breath-away feeling of panic and dread when you realize that you've lost a valuable piece of jewelry. You retrace your steps, you search your car or your house, but it is nowhere to be found. Now you need to make an insurance claim. The amount you receive from an insurance company depends on the kind of coverage you have.
You have coverage for valuables such as jewelry under your homeowner's insurance policy. Depending on the terms of your specific policy, you probably can collect for your lost jewelry. However, without additional endorsements (specific added coverage), your policy probably limits your recovery to a fairly modest amount; $2,500 to $5,000 is common. You also have to apply your deductible to the loss, and the policy might limit the types of losses that are covered.
The coverage under your homeowner’s policy alone is probably not sufficient for expensive pieces of jewelry. But other options exist. For additional premium, your home insurance policy can be endorsed to increase the amount of coverage for jewelry, eliminate the deductible and greatly expand the definition of a covered cause of loss. Usually you have the option of insuring jewelry on an itemized or blanket basis.
Itemized coverage is just what it sounds like. You provide a list of items you wish to insure. Usually you also submit a qualified appraisal that provides a description of each item and its value. In the event of a loss, you identify the item, and the insurance company references the description and value when settling the claim.
Blanket coverage provides you with an overall limit of coverage for a class of property, and usually includes a per-item sub-limit of coverage. For example, a $100,000 blanket jewelry policy provides up to $100,000 of coverage for jewelry, with no descriptions or values assigned to individual items. The policy limits the amount of coverage paid for any one item to no more than $10,000. You don’t need an appraisal on file, and you still don’t pay your deductible.
Blanket coverage is a convenient way to insure jewelry, and it does offer better protection than most homeowner’s policies alone. But it also has its drawbacks. When you file a claim on a blanket jewelry policy, the insurance company asks for proof of ownership of the item and verification of the item's value. This can be difficult to obtain, especially if the item was inherited or received as a gift. You might find yourself looking through old photo albums to find a picture that shows you wearing that missing necklace, or calling the jewelry store to see if they kept a record of the watch you bought 10 years ago.
If you have valuable jewelry that you wear often or keep in your jewelry box at home rather than in a safe or safe-deposit box, you probably need more protection than your homeowner’s policy alone can provide. The amount and type of coverage you need depends on several factors, including the value of your jewelry and the number of pieces. We at The Bensman Group are happy to discuss these and any other insurance needs with you. Contact us at 847-572-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.