Friday, May 27

Happy Valuables Day!

According to CNN.com, Americans spend approximately $4.4 billion on diamonds, gold and silver for Valentines Day. That’s a lot of valuables! What most people don’t do, is spend the few extra dollars it costs to properly insure or protect those valuable items.

Homeowners policies limit coverage on items such as jewelry and watches for the peril of theft to as little as $1,000. Most households have much more jewelry than this so consideration needs to be given to how much you own and if you want to transfer the risk of loss to your insurance company or by other means. Here are a few options to consider for keeping your valuables safe and/ or mitigating financial loss if stolen:

· Obtain a “Floater” policy also known as an “Inland Marine” policy. If you have just purchased the item for Valentines Day, the bill of sale is usually acceptable to determine the value as long as it includes a detailed description of the item to be able to specifically insure it. The nice thing about these policies is that there is usually no deductible, which is the amount you are responsible for when a loss occurs before the insurance kicks in. Your valuables are also covered no matter where you have taken them in the world. It’s a good idea to have items appraised every 3-5 years to make sure the fluctuations in value are kept up to date. Sometimes the store where you purchased the item will provide this service free of charge.

· Another option could be to keep jewelry that you do not wear often in a safe deposit box kept at a bank. These can be easily secured for a small annual fee or you may receive one free with other accounts you have with the bank. You can still choose to insure these valuables, but the cost to insure is dramatically reduced if the items are kept in a bank vault. Some Insurers will even allow items to be taken out of the vault to be worn occasionally. Your agent would have to be advised when items are taken out and put back into the vault. Naturally, the cost to insure the item increases for the time kept outside of the vault.

· Consider adding a safe to your home. If you have other valuables such as stamp collections or firearms, you might want to consider having a “gun safe” in your home. The nice thing about them is that they are very heavy and it is extremely unlikely that a burglar would be able to take or break into it.

Your Independent Insurance Agent has access to multiple insurance carriers and can help you find the best solution to your particular situation. Have a Happy Valentines Day and be sure to take the precautions to be able to “keep” what you have purchased.