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Insurance concerns, putting homeowners at risk with jewelery?

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asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
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2,734
Hi,
I was reading whiteflash''s jewelery insurance link and it made me think about something that has been concerning me for a while. It had a statement on the touchstone insurance website that a good reason for holding your insurance on a seperate policy is so it does not put your homeowners rates or even eligability at risk should you have a loss. I have been concerned if I had a loss, would I be risking my homeowners.

Right now, we have our car and homeowners as well as term life on State Farm. If I were to lose a $25K ring and claim it, is a loss a loss and would my homeowners or car insurance go up? Or if I were to lose my 5K cartier watch would I even report it for fear of my other rates go up? Even something smaller, such as if I lost a side stone in a diamond/gemstone ring I have, to replace the 1/2ct side diamond would cost enought to hurt, and that what insurance is for right? But if I ''m afraid of other things going up or even being cancelled?

My insurance is on a rider policy and listed each by itself.

Now, if I were to switch my jewelry to say jewlers mutual or chubb would that take that risk of my howeonwers away? Or in this day age, do insurance companies keep track of each others data bases anyway? I know when you look at th application, it asks do you have other policies and have you ever had a loss? Thank goodnes Ihave not had a loss.

I have always figured jewelry is for enjoying and insurance on it is so that you can wear it without fear so if something happens you can replace it.

But I''ve had this little fear of risking my other policies.

I can''t risk not being without homeowners insurance!!

What are your thoughts on this?

Anybody ever have a claim on a policy that IS on the same company as homeonwers and car and was it affected?
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Jul 21, 2004
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8,744
The insurance companies keep track of their internal claims records and histories on their clients. For obvious reasons they are sensitive to clients that they feel file frivolous or fictitious claims. Legitimate losses shouldn’t cause you trouble unless they determine through the pattern of claims that you are a heightened risk for some reason. Discuss this issue of the affect of claims activity on your ongoing coverage with your insurance agent and they should be able to advise you on how their company handles these things.

The more insidious problem is that there is a federal database where the companies report claims activity and most of the details of the transaction are stripped away. When you change insurance carriers, the new company has access to this database and if they feel that you’ve made too many claims in the recent past, they can decide to decline your policy. This reporting is an industrywide practice that is required by the federal regulators as part of the company licensure. The underwriters have very little information to go on to make their decision beyond the number and date of the claims and how the other company resolved it (paid, declined, still pending, etc.) so even absolutely legitimate claims activity may cause you grief if you change companies shortly thereafter, especially if you have a series of claims.

Using a separate company for your jewelry from your homeowners insurance doesn't really help with this issue.
Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Separate Insurance for jewelry.

Neil.....

I think this is too varied, to say it doesn''t have much affect. Here in FL where we''ve had insurance companies having a lot of claims, most of the companies don''t want to write homeowner''s here. So predicated on location, what insurance companies do can vary wildly, even in the same geographic areas, and with the same company. In areas where insurance companies have had serious claims exposure, any reason to cancel could be an option for them.

There have been a lot of people here that have been cancelled for many various reasons by their homeowner''s companies.
Just in the past month I had a client who had coverage for 25 years. In one of the hurricanes here, three years ago she had a claim, for roof damage. This was fixed and then along came Wilma, and damaged it again. As a result the homeowner''s was cancelled and this person HAD to buy state insurance.

If a client had separate jewelry coverage, and had a claim with a different company, why would their homeowner''s even check the claims history?

I would agree if you were buying new coverage, most, if not all companies would access the claims database, but if the same homeowner''s company who currently had the coverage, didn''t have to pay a claim, I would think they''d just want to keep on collecting the premiums. Collecting year after year premiums is in their interest, especially if there isn''t a claims history experience where they had to pay a claim.

In weighing a decision on this, possibly having a different company carry the insurance, in the event of a claim wouldn''t affect or trigger a search by another company, unless there was a significant change to the exisiting policy, or changing companies.

If you had a jewelry claim from the same company, would that actually make a current company review the claims database? Maybe yes, and maybe no. But if kept separate, I think the chances are far less. But again, that varies from company to company, policy type, previous experience, and human factor of the individual at the insurance company who makes decisioins in the operations of the company.

Rockdoc
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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8,744

Within the records of a single company they can and surely do pay attention to the claims history of each client. Issues like whether the company wishes to continue to be in the business of insuring houses in Florida or skyscrapers in New York has very little to do with the subject at hand. The question is about the affect of claims activity has on both the insureds premiums and their future insurability. This is an area of a fair amount of concern for insurance consumers both as part of deciding how and with whom to insure their property and whether to file a claim when they have a loss. I think you’re correct that the companies don’t normally check up on the outside claims activity of their customers but this is an internal decision for each company and it doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable for the same reasons that the credit card companies do this. They DO check for new policies and so a claims history even with a 3rd party affects the customer’s ability to switch companies.


My general observation is that the companies are experienced with the idea that even the very best customers occasionally file claims. Penalizing customers for this is a way to drive your good clients to go shop with the competition. That’s why I say that internally, I think legitimate claims don’t have that big an affect. I didn’t say that it was none. If they’re looking for, say, 4 claims in a 3 year window, this means that you’re using up 25% of your ‘quota’ by making a claim. That’s not inconsequential but for most people it’s not huge either. I suspect that the average homeowners’ policy has significantly less than a single claim in a typical 3 year window. The actual expectations of claims histories and how they handle deviations is, of course, proprietary and will be different for each company and each different type of policy that they write. That’s why I suggested speaking with the agent. They are trained to understand the details of the particular policies they sell and the companies they represent.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver

 

Beacon

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
2,037
Actually I think Asscherisme has a really good point here. Especially if you live in a state with difficult insurance problems, like FL, LA or CA.

I always like the idea of having multiple resources and suppliers for my financial needs. This way it is less likely that the rug can get pulled out on everything at once.

Not a bad point to consider IMO.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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8,744
Date: 3/16/2007 2:04:28 PM
Author: Beacon
Actually I think Asscherisme has a really good point here. Especially if you live in a state with difficult insurance problems, like FL, LA or CA.

I always like the idea of having multiple resources and suppliers for my financial needs. This way it is less likely that the rug can get pulled out on everything at once.

Not a bad point to consider IMO.

I agree. It’s a valid point, but I’m not convinced that having several policies spread over multiple companies really addresses the issue. Mind you, I’m not sure there really is much of a solution beyond understanding that the issue is present and to be attentive to your claims history, especially when you are expecting to change companies with important policies like your home. The insurance companies can and should drop clients that they decide are unacceptably high risks. How they make this decision is difficult to evaluate.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,734
Interesting viewpoints. I have been with statefarm for 16 years owning several homes (one at a time) and staying with them. I have had car insurance with them for 16 years as well. And jewelry insurance since I inherited my first piece 15 years ago and have added to that policy. In that time I have never made a claim. I''m an honest person with nothing to hide. The whole point of insurance is to be able to wear and enjoy jewelry or not be paranoid about it being stolen or damaged.

I recall someone on here ( I don''t remember who it was) having her diamond badly chipped from a shopping cart and having to replace the diiamond through insurance. Just one of those freak things that happens. And if that were to happen, I would hate for my homeowners policy to go up! Now if my house burned down and state farm had to pay to rebuild my house on my land, OK I can understand a premium increase but I dont'' want to have to worry about a premiun increase for a jewelry risk.

Now I know State Farm had a very negative rap and lawsuits from poliy holders from katrina. And statefarm lost after being sued.

That being said, I don''t live in a high risk state for hurricanes s or earthquakes.

I''m just talking general risks on jewelry, stones falling out of settings, theft, general loss, breakage, etc.

A big advantage to state farm is they have a built in cost of living so for someone who is lazy about appraisals they keep increasing the values for you and its up to you if you choose to update appraisals. They don''t require it.

Jewlers mutual does not have built in cost increases on the policy but they require a new appraisal every 3 years. Thats fine on bigger pieces but I have a bunch of stuff and it could get very expensive to update all appraisals.


So I''m weighing what to do.

One possibility would be to take my 6 highest priced items nad put them on jewlers mutual. These would be a good idea to keep appraisals updated. And then leave the other stuff on state farm.

My husband was no help when I asked him, he said, do what you want. My agent was no help either, I called her and she could not answer my questions. But I''m thinking of changing agents anyway.

Anybody here have jewers mutua and are you happy with them?

And Beacon, I agree wtih you. I would never dream of having all my investments in one place. Thats just foolish. So thats also part of my thinking of holding my jewelry insurance seperate from homeonwers and car.
 

Margarw

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
44
I had all of my jewelry scheduled onto my homeowners, but now I have a seperate policy (Touchstone). Here''s what happened:

About 6 months ago I "lost" my Tag Heur watch. I wore the watch every day, and couldn''t imagine how it was gone, but one morning I went to put it on, and it wasn''t in my jewelry box (where I put it when I take it off each night.) I retraced my steps from the day before, called everywhere I had been to see if it had been found, and tore my house apart. When I couldn''t find it, I called Union Mutual (home owners) and filed a report. The next day, the claims agent called me, and put me really put me through the paces. I would expect some questions, after all, it is their job to investigate losses, but I had the impression she thought that I was trying to scam $2500.00 out of them, which mystified me, since I had much more valuble items on my policy.

It turned out that the Tag model I had "lost" was discontinued, and the icl;aims agent kept pushing me to allow a jewler of their choice to replace it was something he considered "equivalent." I gave in, and I saw the relacement watch, which was not even similar in appearance to the one I had "lost" and I hated it. Eventually the claims agent agreed to allow me to shop for my own replacement. Then she told me that it would take an additional 4 weeks to process my claim, just in case my watch "turned up." She actually recommended I go buy a cheapo watch to get me through, because my replacement wouldn''t be processed for 30 days... (Maybe this is normal, but to me, it was unacceptable.)

The good news, is two weeks into the 4 week period, my watch did "turn up." It was in my lingerie drawer, underneath some undergarments. I must have taken off my watch, laid it on my buereau, at which time I was in the process of putting my laundry away. When I picked up my "delicates", I must''ve scooped the watch up too. I called the agent back, and told her what had happened. In my mind, I could just visualize the smug look she must''ve had when I told her.... I really didn''t care though, I was just happy to have my watch.

My Tag was the least expensive item scheduled onto my policy, and I am still miffed that this lady seemed to think I would try to scam the insurance company out of a measley $2500.00.

In addition to the attitude I got from Union Mutual, they were charging me through the wazoo. The premium for items valued over 10K was 1.48/thousand. Aside from the Tag, I had 4 other tems, totaling around 60K. When I recently went to have a piece appraised, the appraiser recommended a couple alternatives. I priced through Touchstone, and the premium was $1.00 / 1K - a significant savings. In addition, I phoned Touchstone, and spoke with someone there, and explained my frustration with Union Mutual. Although I hope I never have to file a claim for a loss or theft, they seem like they will be a little easier to deal with.

Now I just hope my house doesn''t burn down..... I''ll be living in a tent for 30 days while they process the clam.
 

KtIceRN

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 28, 2006
Messages
1,320
I just wanted to add that I have my jewelry on my homeowners (amica insurance) and I had to make a claim for my e-ring. It is the most expensive piece that I have insured with them. Anyways, my stone chipped and needed to be replaced. They were very good with me. Of course they told me their people could replace it with like kind and I would not have to do anything but I didn''t want to do that. So I used my PS knowledge and told them the specifics of the angles ect and they told me that it would be alright for me to just purchase a stone myself. They also paid me the appraised amount of the stone which was about 1500.00 more that I had paid originally. I had the check in a matter of 2 weeks. My homeowners cost did not go up, I paid no deductible and I got a great new stone with very little hassle.

I don''t know what would happen if I made another claim but they seemed pretty reasonable this time so I hope if it ever happens it would be just as smooth.

KT
 
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