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Personal Lines Insurance
Monday, November 1, 2010
A fine piece, or a fine mess?

A fine piece of jewellery should last you a lifetime. However, the risk of loss, theft or damage is sadly a reality that many people are often confronted with at some point in their lives. As a result, it is crucial that consumers make sure that any valuable piece of jewellery is properly insured.

According to Delouise Marais, head of Pinion Private Insurance, the personal nature of jewellery means that it can be traumatic when a piece goes missing or is stolen. She warns that this situation can be made worse if the item is not properly insured. “It is crucial for people to spend time understanding how jewellery, especially expensive pieces and those dear to them, are covered under their insurance policies
“One of the biggest sources of frustration for many people who have suffered a loss comes when they find that they cannot replace the item at their preferred jeweller. Insurers have the right to repair, replace or pay cash at time of claim. Most insurers have a panel of jewellers who they have negotiated a discounted rate with and will insist either that you replace the item at that specific jeweller or pay out the cash value. This could be as much as 30% less than the value that the item was insured for.”   She says some insurers have taken steps to overcome this problem. “For example, Pinion clients have the opportunity to insure their jewellery on an agreed value basis, which means that they can replace their jewellery at their jeweller of choice.” It is also important for people to find out if a policy has a safe warranty for items not worn. Most insurers that specialise in the high net-worth market request that items over a certain value be locked in a safe if not worn.
“Also ensure that you have valuation certificates with as much detail as possible. Some insurers will limit the amount they pay out or may not pay at all if you do not have an updated valuation certificate.”
She says that the limit for jewellery under contents insurance will depend on the policy. “Some policies require each item to be specified, while others may limit the value of jewellery to a percentage of total contents sum insured.”
Pinion’s policy has a benefit to cater for clients who have a fair amount of jewellery in that they don't have to specify the items. “This then avoids the inconvenience of specifying each item and keeping the list up to date.” Always recommended that clients take a close up photograph of the jewellery so when they want to replace it is easier to describe to the jeweller
Another common problem is items that are not insured for the correct value. “With the fluctuation in the rand dollar exchange it is important to revise these values on a regular basis, especially for imported items. If it is an imported piece of jewellery, it would be advisable to update your valuations every two years.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:23.11 1st November, 2010
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