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Insurance coverage available for loose stones to be mounted

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by Wink, May 26, 2006.

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  1. Wink
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    by Wink » May 26, 2006
    In response to several requests lately and in the past for coverage on loose stones that need to be mounted I asked Sue Fritz of Jeweler''s Mutual if they covered loose stones. I found her reply to be both illuminating and exciting for me as a jeweler as now you can safely take your loose stone to any jeweler of your choice and know that the stone will be insured if the jeweler has an accident.

    Here is what Sue told me, I think she says it better than I and it will be a good thing for you to know since so many of you buy your diamond and your mounting in separate places.

    Quote:

    Jewelers Mutual will insure loose stones that are in the process of being set. We require that the individual obtain an appraisal/insurance evaluation for the stones and setting and purchase a policy for the total value. The policy must be in force before the stones are being set if the individual wants coverage for the setting process. Not only is the individual covered for the setting process, he or she is covered for loss, damage, theft, and mysterious disappearance for the next 12 months. Our rates vary based on location. We have a rate estimator and an online application on our web site: InsureYourJewelry.com.

    End Quote.

    JM has been my insurance carrier for many years and I did not know this. Sue, you REALLY need to get the word out to your jewelers and to the public since you now sell directly off of your website.

    Wink
     
    


    


  2. Mara
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    by Mara » May 26, 2006
    wow wink thanks so much for finding that information out!!

    this will help the scads of people who are having their stones set by other jewelers or setting designers...we get that question on here all the time!
     
  3. sunkist
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    by sunkist » May 26, 2006
    Hey Wink! This is great news [​IMG] Thank you so so so so much for finding this out and posting it. My BF will be soo happy [​IMG]
     
  4. mrssalvo
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    by mrssalvo » May 26, 2006
    Oh that is good news and will be so very helpful to so many people.
     
    


    


  5. strmrdr
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    by strmrdr » May 26, 2006
    They have been saying that for a while...
    the catch is they will go after the Jeweler to recover it.
    So while the consumer is covered the Jeweler isnt.
     
  6. jasontb
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  7. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » May 26, 2006
    Though I haven''t done the same research on this that I did before, this old thread has a less old tail end, dating from November of last year, where the same representations were being made by Claims Jeff from Jeweler''s Mutual...and although the claims have never been contradicted...nor has the question been addressed by JM as to why the text in their policy doesn''t corroborate what''s being represented here.
     
  8. Wink
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    by Wink » May 26, 2006
    Hmm, I will check with Sue on this, perhaps she can come on line and post here, but I do not know how that will work with the rules against self promotion. I am covered by JM, so I assume that if they come after me then they are coming after themselves, but this is totally supposition on my part. I will go email Sue now and let you know what I find.

    I would think from the consumer''s point of view this is a very good thing.

    Wink
     
  9. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » May 26, 2006
    OK, so now I HAVE done the same research as before. Going on-line to fill out the Jeweler''s Mutual application, before you hit the "next" button where you tell them to insure your jewelery, they do say at their web site, and I quote:

    "Insurance is not available on antique jewelry, loose stones, damaged items, items with missing stones or pieces, watches that do not work, or non-jewelry items."

    Hopefully they can explain.

    Many thanks,
     
  10. denverappraiser
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    by denverappraiser » May 27, 2006

    Ira,


    I actually got sort of an explanation of this. The problem is that insuring loose diamonds would count as a new insurance product and would therefore require them to apply for licensure at the 50 insurance commissions in the US. This is not utterly out of the question but it’s a major and time-consuming step to resolve an issue that is, in reality, generally a rather low risk and is unlikely to sell many policies. They have adopted this system of binding a policy on jewelry that doesn’t yet exist but for which the components are known as a way around that. They would always cover a diamond damaged being reset from one mounting to another, assuming that the original ring was covered. They have now expanded their definition of insurable ‘jewelry’ to include hypothetical jewelry.


    They, and every other insurance company, reserve the right to pursue recourse against whoever causes the damage that they end up paying. They have agreed that they will not pursue this sort of claim against jewelers who are covered by a JM commercial policy and I have my doubts about how successful they would be in pursuing others who are clear at take-in regarding their breakage policies and who were not grossly negligent in their setting procedures. This is an area that I’m still unclear on. If a consumer binds a policy based on an appraisal of an item that does not yet exist and has it set by a non-JM insured jeweler who clearly and in writing does not assume breakage liability, who is at risk?

    Wink. I too am covered by a JM commercial policy and have read it rather carefully. It doesn't cover breakage in the normal course of business.

    My guess is that Sue is off enjoying the holiday and we won't hear from her until tuesday.


    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ISA NAJA
    Professional Appraisals in Denver
     
    


    


  11. fire&ice
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    by fire&ice » May 27, 2006
    Really, I wonder why they don''t insure antique jewelry? Is it because someone would seek a replacement & it would be difficult? I have all of my museum pieces insured by Allstate w/ full appraisal & pics. The appraisals cites "comps" and the pieces have little instrinsic value. The agreement is a cash out. Most are kept vaulted - so it''s not that expensive. Also, they had no problem insuring the "family" ring - OEC in it''s orginal old setting.

    If Sue comes back, I would love to her the reason that they don''t insure antique jewelry. Or if someone else has a supposition on it.
     
  12. Modified Brilliant
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    by Modified Brilliant » May 27, 2006
    Hey Neil,
    Good to see you working like me on a holiday weekend[​IMG]

    Jeff
     
  13. Wink
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    by Wink » May 27, 2006
    Neil,

    Thanks for your comments. I suspect you are right about the recourse, and I am glad I work with a fine company like JM.

    I also expect that you are right about Sue being gone for the weekend.

    Wink
     
  14. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » May 27, 2006
    I''m not sure that this is entirely more satisfying than it was last November. Nothing is new that I can see, except, Neil, that you''re now convinced, of what was stated, really just as clearly, 6 months ago. Insurance is, after all, that sort of product that you get to provide you...you know....insurance, again what is not expected. To the extent I am unsure of what may happen to my diamond, I invest in insurance to get a level of assurance I don''t otherwise have, and having that assurance in writing is what is still missing.

    Although this criticism was stated as plainly as it could have been 6 months ago, it was not addressed by anyone at JM then. I would think some sort of "phone call initiated" rider could accompany a policy in writing, requested by a Pricescope reader, if necessary, when they call and ask for that extra bit of insurance they''re reading about here.

    In the alternative, since such good guys are backing JM here...and perhaps believing in the opinion of good guys is largely what Pricescope is about...maybe this assurance written here by JM supporters should be sufficient.

    Me...I say let insurance be insurance....and when it''s suggested that a statement in writing from the insurer will support what''s being claimed here, you can more readily believe you''ll be backed by the company, regardless of the whim of circumstances at the time of a loss, when insurance support is required.

    Of course, maybe...once a person applies for insurance, just this sort of text in writing comes along now. Or...maybe others here will share they''ve gotten this sort of assurance from JM in writing, as well. Still, no one has stepped up to say this, that I can see. Such an offering would be convincing. Ideally, of course, from a JM personage, as well as from a satisfied consumer.

    Perhaps, after the holiday weekend, these things shall come to pass.

    Regards,
     
  15. Rhino
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    by Rhino » May 27, 2006
    Just reading this. That is cool Winkster. Actually our entire store is insured with Jeweler''s Mutual as well and they''ve been tops in service. We always recommend them when people ask. Thanks for posting this.
     
    


    


  16. denverappraiser
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    by denverappraiser » May 27, 2006

    Ira,


    I wouldn’t say I’ve been convinced but I do see it as a plausible explanation for why they would take such a circuitous approach. It seemed only fair to mention it. Insurance is a highly regulated industry and lawyers move in mysterious ways. The fact that company reps have described it repeatedly in a public venue (here) adds a fair amount of teeth to it. If they agree to a policy on an item where they have clearly been told that it requires assembly they are obviously agreeing to be on the hook, just as they would be with repairs or work on any other covered item. Prior to adopting this policy they would simply refuse to bind such a policy in the first place. I’ve never spoken to a client or a jeweler involved in a claim like we’re discussing so I don’t have a clue how they handle it. I would love to hear more about it. I have authored appraisals of this type and have been told that policies have been issued but, to the best of my knowledge, none have lead to a claim.


    I’m also a little surprised at their lack of marketing to both jewelers and consumers. This may be a bit of a test market. This is a huge benefit that is not (yet) available from their competition. I would expect them to be trying to make the most of it. Page one of their website seems like a good place to start. Perhaps a hyperlink on the application with an explanation of what constitutes an undamaged, non-antique item of jewelry with no missing pieces would also be helpful. It’s apparently not as obvious as it seems.


    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ISA NAJA
    Professional Appraisals in Denver
     
  17. Wink
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    by Wink » May 30, 2006
    Here is what I received from Sue Fritz at JM this morning. I had asked if it was true that they would subrogate against the jeweler if a stone that was insured during setting was damaged.

    Wink

    Quote:

    Yes and No. We do not subrogate against jewelers like you whom we insure. We may subrogate against jewelers we don''t insure.

    End Quote.
     
  18. sfritz
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    by sfritz » May 31, 2006
    Let me address several questions that have been posted over the Memorial Day holiday. First, many thanks to all who have posted messages, compliments, and questions.

    1. As Wink explained, JM insures stones that are in the process of being placed in a setting by a jeweler. Ira pointed out that our policy guidelines state that we do not insure loose stones.

    We typically decline loose stones because our experience shows that they present an increased hazard. They are small and easily misplaced or damaged. Insuring loose stones suggests that we insure “investment” type items – something very different from insuring a consumers’ jewelry. On the other hand, if you have taken loose stones to a jeweler to be put into a mounting, the danger of the stones being lost or damaged is much smaller. We are willing to take that risk and provide insurance at that point. We see this as a value-added service.


    Neil is correct in his explanation that it is time-consuming and costly to revise an insurance policy in all 50 states, so we have not done so for this small part of our business. We may revise the policy language at a later date.


    2. We are not actively promoting this coverage. We understand that it meets a need for individuals who purchase diamonds online and have them set by a jeweler. When we have more experience with this risk, we may promote it to jewelers and customers.


    3. Under our Personal Jewelry Insurance policy, we may subrogate (e.g., request reimbursement) from a jeweler who damages an insured item. We do not subrogate against jewelers who have business policies with our company. We may subrogate against other jewelers.


    4. We do not typically insure antique jewelry because ours is a repair and replacement policy. In our experience, it often is difficult to replace an antique item with like kind and quality that satisfies the customer.


    I hope that helps a bit.


    Sue
    Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
     
  19. denverappraiser
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    by denverappraiser » May 31, 2006
    Sue,

    Am I correct that an insured client who hires a jeweler to move a diamond from one mounting to a new mounting would be covered for damage that might occur during this process? I presume they will need to submit an updated appraisal describing and valuing the new item. Is it necessary for them to submit the plans for this new ring prior to having the work done or is an appraisal done after completion sufficient?

    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ISA NAJA
    Professional Appraisals in Denver
     
  20. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » May 31, 2006
    One more question. Is there a catch like requiring the stone/ring to be checked every 6 months or something? It seems like I read something that might indicate that. If so, what if you missed a 6 month check and then your stone fell out and was lost? Would it be covered? My homeowners insurance does not put conditions like that on me, and I would not consider a policy that did.
     
  21. froufrou
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    by froufrou » Jun 2, 2006
    Sue: is there any way Jewelers Mutual would insure the stone for a little while for retail price while I am off getting it appraised?? I purchased mine at Bluenile and they refuse to give me a certificate of appraisal which they do normally because i did not purchase my setting from them.
     
  22. sfritz
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    by sfritz » Jun 5, 2006
    Let me asnwer several questions in one message.

    Re: Neil’s question: Insuring a remount
    If Item #1 is already insured with Jewelers Mutual, then the diamond in Item #1 is insured during the remounting process. The diamond is usually the most expensive component of the item and the component at greatest risk. Upon completion of the new item, the individual should send us an insurance appraisal or valuation with instructions for adding it to the policy and deleting or continuing insurance for Item #1 (for example, if a new stone was put in the old mounting, the customer may want to continue coverage and would submit an insurance appraisal/evaluation for that item).
    Re: Requiring the stone to be checked
    Jewelers Mutual requires that insured jewelry be inspected and values reviewed every three years. We inform insureds when the inspection is due so there are no surprises or catches. The policy renewal offer that the customer receives states that an inspection is required to continue coverage. The periodic inspection helps assure that our customer has sufficient (but not too much!) insurance to cover the value of the jewelry and checks for damaged prongs and loose clasps to help avoid the accidental loss of a diamond or loss of the entire piece. The customer''s preferred jeweler provides this inspection.

    Re: Accepting the purchase price as the policy limit
    If the purchase price is less than $5,000, we would accept the purchase price as the policy limit. However, we must receive a detailed description of the item, usually included on the sales receipt, in place of an appraisal or evaluation. If the purchase price is higher than $5,000, we need an actual insurance evaluation or appraisal in order to insure the item.
    Sue Fritz
    Personal Jewelry Insurance Program
    Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
     
  23. froufrou
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    by froufrou » Jun 5, 2006
    Sue: thanks for replying to my questions! I bought my setting for $449 and my diamond for $2,512. That''s total below $5K. How do I go about insuring it? I did the online application and I thought I would get a chance to explain the situtaiton before I entered my credit card number but I didnt''. If it is not appraised, do I have to insure it under "unscheduled items"? It shows up it costs more to insure it through that than through the regular process. I plan to have it set as soon as it is insured.

    Please let me know or let me know how to contact you.

    Thanks,

    Anya
     
  24. Wink
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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2006
    Sue is still at the show, so I will answer what my experience with this has been and Sue can correct me if I am wrong.

    Once a year JM will send an invoice for the next years payments. Sue told me that they have now gone to once every three years that they require you to take the ring to a jeweler and have the appraisal updated and the ring checked before they will renew.

    That certainly seems more than reasonable to me, I liked it better when they made you come in every two years.

    Wink
     
  25. Wink
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    by Wink » Jun 5, 2006
    Silly me, I see she already replied. Anya, I would try calling JM at 1 888 884-2424. Someone there can give you a good answer.

    Wink
     
  26. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Jun 5, 2006
    Thanks so much for the clarification, Wink! I just wanted to be sure it was not every 6 months or something! I do well to get everybody to the dentist every six months, and I wouldn''t want to add anything else with that kind of frequency requirement!
     
  27. froufrou
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    by froufrou » Jun 5, 2006
    Haha, Wink, I was wondering how you knew my name, then I realized I accidentaly signed my last message!!!

    I did contact JM and someone did reply back, and there were about 4 subsequent emails responding to my questions.
    The first email started with, "Yes you definately need an appraisal otherwise we cannot do anything."
    The last email finally was, "You can send us suitable documentation and no appraisal is needed."

    When I went on the website there was that generic form you fill out and no option for "unset diamond and setting" and right away asked for credit card info so I didn''t want to go that route in case I did something wrong (since technically it is not an engagement ring YET)....

    I''m not sure what to go by. I think I will call them tomorrow and try to figure it out that way.

    Thanks!
     
  28. sunkist
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    by sunkist » Jun 5, 2006
    Let us know what you find out! Thanks~
     
  29. kpebbles
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    by kpebbles » Jun 5, 2006
    Hey Jonathan!

    My bf just purchased a lovely stone from your store a few weeks ago and we''ve been looking around for insurance. We''re getting the stone set locally at WG Jeweler''s. JM seems like a great company, so I think we''re going to go with them. Do you know what they need in terms of an "appraisal". Is the one you included with the stone good enough (value was the price we paid ~ 10K)? Or do we need to get something else like an independent appraisal or is this something the local jeweler can do? Also, do we include the cost of the setting even before we get it set?

    If Sue/anyone knows the answer to this, your answer would be much appreciated! We''ll probably call JM tomorrow, but I ask in case anyone already knows.

    Thanks so much!
     
  30. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » Jun 6, 2006
    Sue,

    Seems like FrouFrou/Anya''s experience suggests my imagined concern about JM''s approach can be very real.

    It seems Chubb, perhaps at the high end, navigates this problem, requiring no appraisal at all for items below a high cost.

    Although, at a lower cost, JM may be the only player in town to provide this service for unmounted diamonds, it would be helpful if you provided...if only as a flow chart available to readers on this, or another thread, on Pricescope...some reasonable set of procedures whereby a reader knows they can consistently get the same corporate response they will actually need when it comes time to remedy a problem for which they have purchased their insurance.
     
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