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surfgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 5, 2007
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Hi there. Given the recent posts regarding chipped stones, etc., I wanted to get some opinions and options on insuring erings. I''ve found alot of differences between policies and wondered which ones were the best.

For my ring, Jewler''s Mutual wants $475/year. State Farm wants $417. no deduc. & $250/$1000 deduc. We were going to go with the latter because it seems like a good deal, however, in reading their claims clause it seems like they - State Farm - have first dibs on deciding whether or not they can replace the ring. Given that this is an antique old cut, I would think it is one-of-a-kind but I''m not sure. Does anyone have any information on this sort of claim or any experience in making a claim on an ering?

Many thanks in advance for any insights you all can provide...
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
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I''m sorry we don''t get the same sort of analysis here on insurance, as we do on diamond cut. With cut...there''s a sense that info builds towards clarity. Insurance is at least a bit more random.

A cursory looks suggests as you found, to me, that State Farm is a good deal. You get an established company, rates that are more attractive than JM, and, as you like, a local rep to communicate with. Not sure why they don''t get more press.

My guess is the constraints they have in their policy are consistent with any repair/replace type policy, but others may know better. I merely took the lazy way, and went with a rider on my homeowners, thereby eliminating the need to look at any additional paperwork, going forward.

Regards,
 

crown1

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 22, 2006
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hi! i personally have no experience with them. my sister had state farm (a good while back) and she lost a diamond pendant. they insisted on replacing it for her. she promptly changed insurance as she was not happy with the replacement. things may be different now.hth.
 

Regular Guy

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Date: 4/20/2007 7:14:39 PM
Author: crown1
hi! i personally have no experience with them. my sister had state farm (a good while back) and she lost a diamond pendant. they insisted on replacing it for her. she promptly changed insurance as she was not happy with the replacement. things may be different now.hth.
Crown & Surfgirl,

Best to compare apples with apples. You could go with a different sort of insurance & provider..,.i.e., Chubb, where the expectation at the outset is to cash you out. I''m less sure, but it''s Neil''s business, and he says these policies are typically double the price for the other kind, which is this kind (both SF and JM), where the intention is replacement. Surfgirl, before you dis SF, see of course what either JM''s or any other''s policies are you''re considering.
 

surfgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks for the thoughts RegularGuy...FYI, lest anyone accuse me of being lazy, I''ve already been researching this issue on PS but it seems that all the posts end with people being just as confused as when they started asking their questions! That said, I wonder if the ADMIN here might consider starting a separate forum for insurance & appraisals since it seems to come up often.

In an effort to help share info with those in the same boat as I am right now, I just got off the phone with State Farm''s claim dept. The guy was really helpful and basically said there is no way that SF will just cut a check - they do what''s in their best interest. He gave me a list of jewelers they use in my area in case I wanted to take the ring in to them and see if they think it''s one of a kind or replaceable. That said, the list of shops he gave me? Are in my opinion, all pretty schlocky. I know one of them and I wouldn''t buy anything there. Then I was thinking, isn''t it in the best interest of the SF jewelers to insist on finding my replacement because surely they''ll make something out of the deal, wont they? So how unbiased can that process really be if the replacing party stands to make money on finding me something, no matter if I like it or not? Smells rotten to me! The claim''s guy also mentioned that IF they could''nt find a suitable replacement for cheaper, then they would give me the full insured amount but it sounded like they''d have to be over the proverbial barrel to do that. I also tried to clarify that this is an antique stone, old cut, and I would not accept a new round stone. He didn''t seem to think I had a choice in that matter either. Basically, what crown1''s sister experienced seems to be the preferred process for SF. That makes me very nervous.

I gathered from some of the Jewelers Mutual posts here that they also insist on replacing your stone for you. Since they are closed until Monday, can anyone verify that for me?

I am waiting back from a Chubb representative in my area to see if they will insure only my ring, however, does anyone know if I can call Chubb''s main number and deal directly with them?

All in all, this whole process is confusing and it feels like we have to read between the lines or be taken for a ride. I dont mind doing my homework but man, my brain is killing me!
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2007
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Hi Surfgirl,

I can give you the quick low down on JM and State Farm.

1. State Farm WILL NOT guarantee that you can pick your own jeweler. My rep said that their claims dept. gets to choose which jeweler they send you to for the replacement. Only if that jeweler determines that they can't adequately replace it do you get a cash out. My rep says this rarely happens.

2. JM also probably will not cash you out (but perhaps with an antique, would), BUT they do allow you to work with your own jeweler for a replacement. This is nice for us PS'ers who spend a long time picking a stone with a vendor and is especially helpful if you have a fancy cut that you can't just "go by the numbers" for.

3. Chubb WILL cash you out, but it's hard to find an agent in some states and is generally more expensive.

For an antique, all you'll get back is fair market value, NOT the insured value, so this is an important distinction to make when deciding how much to insure your ring for. They also won't allow you to insure it for more because it is "irreplaceable", so either they will cash you out and you'll be on your own, or they might try to get you to switch your stone/setting for a modern one.

Hope that helps!
 

surfgirl

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neatfreak, thanks for the information! I've been reading up on all the past threads on insurance and it makes your head swim! I've basically deduced what you said as I just finished reading up on JM and at least they allow you to use your own jeweler so for me, at least I could use someone who deals in old cuts and that would be pretty good in helping me to secure a reasonable replacement. I'll wait to see what Chubb says on Monday though. The payout seems to be the best deal overall, if its not much more than JM, and some have said Chubb ended up being less in premiums than Jm so we'll see. I also have learned via the insurance threads that finding someone to sell me a Chubb policy might be quite a search, but I'm willing to find the best to suit our needs. Will keep you informed as to what we find out.

Just to add...I asked the jewelry shop that we're buying the ring from whether they were covered with their own insurance if, god forbid, the person sizing the ring dings it, and he said yes, they were covered for as long as the ring is under his possession/care.
 

crown1

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 22, 2006
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surf girl i have a chubb marine policy on my jewelry. i had a nationwide marine policy for years until i found out they would handle a loss not the way i had been lead to believe. my insurance guy who handles all of our homeowners and cars advised me to go the marine policy for the jewelry. i had that policy for years until i began reading about chubb on ps. when i began questioning nationwide i found out that what the agent had always told me pay out, no questions asked with marine policy was not correct. he admitted it when i began asking questions after reading about chubb. nationwide also has their "stores" they want to replace from.

i went with chubb and it was comparable to nationwide. i do not live in an area with higher rates. not sure where you live but i live in a small town. i highly recommend chubb as i had to make a claim on a ring that was lost down a floor drain in the basement and they were wonderful to deal with.
 

Fly Girl

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 9, 2007
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My State Farm claim experience was pretty much what you described. When my 1.5 ct F VS2 platinum ring went missing last fall, SF claims sent me a list of SF approved jewelers. My jeweler, who had made the custom ring for me 7 years ago, was not on the list. I kept pointing out that I had an XXX original, and how could someone else make me an XXX original? It would only be a copy. This made no difference. So, I sat down with my jeweler and we selected a couple of the better jewelers (you are right, most of the jewelers on the SF list could not make a ring like mine), and I went to them and asked for "pre-quotes" on how much it would cost to replace my ring. One quote came in very low, but the other quote was slightly higher than my insured amount. I used the higher number and State Farm cashed me out. They gave me no trouble at all about doing the cashout once they got the quote from their jeweler. I didn''t keep it a secret that I was pre-shopping around with their jewelers, either. All SF claims asked for was one quote from a SF jeweler.

I still wonder what my ring would have looked like if I had gone with the low-ball quote. My diamond was hand-picked by my jeweler, and it is a beauty. It doesn''t look so great on paper, though. I looked at a couple of stones that were supposedly similar in quality to mine, and I could tell a big difference. Soon after that I discovered the HCA and these stones were 5.5, and mine was a 2.8. Both State Farm and the low-ball jeweler assured me that I had to approve of the replacement diamond. My guess is that most people aren''t very picky, so this approach works fine for them. So, I don''t know what they would do if you simply refused to accept a diamond or a ring whose quality did not satisfy you. I think the best approach is what I did, and look for a SF jeweler whose replacement quote is high enough for them to cash you out.

Later, I found my ring and returned the money to State Farm. They sent me a very nice letter thanking me for my honesty and gave me a telephone calling card as a thank you. Because of this experience I learned that my replacement cost was about 10% higher, and so I raised my insured amount. I am keeping my State Farm insurance, but I really hope I never have another claim. It isn''t fun.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
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I am going to have a webinar on this subject tomorrow.......

I''ll probably start it around 2 PM EST.

Rockdoc
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Jul 21, 2004
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8,744

My experience with State Farm has been different. They are, by a considerable margin, the largest jewelry insurer in my state (Colorado) and I have seen the jewelry claims process through them hundreds of times. With proper documentation and a reasonably assertive client, they will replace designer items with designer items. They are also generally happy to pay cash. What’s negotiated is the amount.


After determining that you have a covered loss, they start by sending you to one or more of their preferred providers to get an estimate for repair, reproduction or replacement as needed. This estimate becomes the value of the claim as long as it is less than the face value of the policy. If the estimates are above the declared limit they cash out at the face value. You are NOT required to shop at their replacement company or even to buy jewelry at all. If you would like to shop somewhere else, you are welcome to do so but they will only pay the amount that it would have cost them to get it replaced at their guys. Anything above and beyond this is up to you. You aren’t even required to buy the merchandise being discussed. After the value of the loss is determined and agreed to you can buy something completely different, add some money to upgrade or simply take it in cash as you wish.


This process is basically fair but there are a few zingers that make it logistically a little difficult for people with unusual items or with strong preferences for jewelers. It helps to be assertive in what you want, especially in the process of defining what constitutes ‘like kind and quality’. Don’t be shy about asking to talk to a claims supervisor. Remember that what it says in your appraisal is the purchase order. If you have the appraisal done properly in the first place this process goes far easier and your insurance policy is far more valuable come claims time.


The replacement jewelers are trying to make a sale. That’s what sales people do. If you cash out or you shop elsewhere, they get nothing. They are decidedly not unbiased observers in this deal and they are usually not agents of the insurance company. Even so, they’re the ones you’re negotiating with about what constitutes like kind and they have a strong incentive for this to end up being something that they are able to provide. If you are unhappy with what they offer you, be specific about what is inadequate about it and request that they bid on the proper thing so that the company can make a proper comparison. Back up your claim with the receipt, the appraisal and whatever other documentation you have that indicates what you loss. In the end, remember that your contract is with the insurance company, not the replacement company, and the definition of like kind is laid out in the appraisal that was accepted at the beginning of the policy. Read your appraisal and read your policy.


That ‘preferred provider’ list is moderately difficult to get onto and it’s quite valuable to the jewelers to be there. It can result in a steady stream of customers that otherwise never would have walked in their door. Part of the key to staying on it is to settle claims quickly and without too many customer complaints. If they can’t come up with a satisfactory replacement for most of the claims they will soon find themselves off the list.


All in all, State Farm is a pretty good company and their policies offer clients a good value for their premium dollars. Backed by a well written appraisal, a State Farm personal articles schedule can be one of the best values in the jewelry insurance industry. I agree with the above that they don’t get the respect they deserve. For many people, this is exactly the right approach to insurance.


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

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
2,509
Date: 4/21/2007 2:23:09 PM
Author: surfgirl
We''re having our chat online right now for anyone who''s intersted!
Thanks to all who stopped in for the webinar.... Sorry the cam didn''t work, but hope all who were there learned a lot, and had fun. I know I did.

Thanks to Ralph Cohen for participating and Neil for some really good input.

Hope it answered a lot of questions for you, Surf.... thanks for being there.

Rockdoc
 

surfgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
4,438
Thank YOU Doc! It was a very informative session, very timely for me personally, and I learned a lot. I feel like I can now make an educated decision on how best to insure my ering and which type of policy/carrier best suits my individual needs. Thanks also to Neil and Ralph for their invaluable inputs as well. To be honest, I feel that I could guide a friend, if need be, on the different types of policies and carriers.

I hope there is some way to archive/post/link to the conversation we had to others who couldn''t be there can also benefit from the discussion.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
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Date: 4/21/2007 5:27:33 PM
Author: surfgirl
Thank YOU Doc! It was a very informative session, very timely for me personally, and I learned a lot. I feel like I can now make an educated decision on how best to insure my ering and which type of policy/carrier best suits my individual needs. Thanks also to Neil and Ralph for their invaluable inputs as well. To be honest, I feel that I could guide a friend, if need be, on the different types of policies and carriers.

I hope there is some way to archive/post/link to the conversation we had to others who couldn''t be there can also benefit from the discussion.
I changed my diamond ring and earrings to a Chubb policy because they will write a check if there is a loss. My premium was around $277 for $24,000 in value. That really wasn''t much different than what my homeowner''s rider would cost, but the coverage is much better.
 
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