{Operation 118} Getting your engagement and wedding rings insured

Task 7
Get your engagement ring insured.

When I saw this task yesterday, I panicked a little. Just the word “insurance” leaves me feeling, well- very un-sure.
We’ve all, at some point in our lives heard of some insurance horror stories and if you’re like me, I feel a ton of empathy towards those who were somehow conned into believing they were “fully” covered.
Better to be safe than sorry, so I decided rather than doing online research on this subject, I’d go to a jewellers directly to hear what they have to say on the topic.

I went to KellerWood in the Laines.

I walked in feeling a bit like a donut. I mean, I had no idea what to ask. It’s not like I’ve had to insure engagement rings before, right? So for me, honesty was the best policy. I approached a man and woman sitting by a desk and interrupted them.

“Ermmm…. hello. I’m hoping you can help me.” I said.

A gentleman by the name of John Wood, responded without looking up. “Sit down.”, he said.  There was something quite intimidating about him I thought at the time, but soon after, I realized, it had more to do with this not being my area of expertise, than John being intimidating. I was definitely outside of my comfort zone. I (giggled and then) took a seat.

“Ermmm…I don’t know anything about purchasing expensive jewelery and I’m doing research on getting engagement and wedding rings insured. Do you provide customers with insurance, or do they have to purchase it from somewhere else?” I asked nervously feeling slightly like a novice journalist, about to uncover a big story.

John (one of the co-owners) and Sonja (the glue that keeps it all together) were extremely kind and helpful in providing me with a ton of information. I’ve picked out the best bits just for you.

My pleasure.

~Getting engagement and wedding rings insured is an afterthought for many. Up until the point where it’s suggested by the jeweler. It is essential to get insured, for peace of mind.
~Because people’s circumstances differ greatly from one person to the next, it’s unlikely that jewelers would suggest a specific insurance company to you. It is up to each customer to get their pieces insured themselves.
~At the point of sale you should receive a purchasing invoice and an evaluation document. If a diamond is certificated by a laboratory, the certificate will be included in the purchase. This certificate should be kept in a safe and secure place at all times. ie: Better diamonds have their own certificates.
Certificates show a diamond’s
-shape
-cut and measurements
-colour
-clarity
-finish
-carat weight
-polish
-symmetry and fluorescence.

~Usually when owners get their wedding or engagement rings insured, they take out the “general home insurance policy” thinking that they’re covered. What they don’t know is that the ring should either, always be in a safe at home or on the person’s finger, in order to be considered as “covered”.
When looking for insurance, owners need to look for “all risks cover“.
This should cover you for:
1.Inside the home
2.Outside the home
3. Accidental damage

“Most policies contain a range of exclusions and limits on individual claims. Commonly, there are limits on the value of works of art, ornaments, jewelery or other expensive items. The insurer may agree to raise these though it may be wiser to insure high-value items separately.
Most insurers automatically link the sum insured under your policy to inflation so that it increases in line with inflation. Check that yours does. If you add to your possessions, ask your insurer to increase the sum insured to reflect the increased value of your contents.” Read more

~One of the biggest mistakes people make when getting their precious metals and stones insured under home insurance policies, is that they don’t take inflation into consideration. As time goes by and the economy fluctuates. You might at some point find that your engagement and wedding rings become UNDER-insured.
What you would need to do is either get your items re-evaluated (A legal document. This costs around 1.5% of the overall value + VAT), get your items cleaned and polished at the same time and also make sure you pay the premiums for your policy. Paying that little bit extra can go a very long way and you’ll have complete peace of mind.
I asked John Wood how they can justify charging 1.5% + VAT for a clean and polish as well as an evaluation, to which John responded:
“When handing over your jewelery and leaving it with the jeweler. They are held liable.The Jewelers are insured as well, for goods in transit and 3rd party handling for example. It’s also the cost of the work and the legal document. This justifies the owner being changed for a re-evaluation.”

~Check with your insurance company. If your ring(s) get(s) lost. Are you able to go back to the same jewellers to purchase another/the same ring again, or do you have to choose a replacement ring from an insurance company’s  pre- selected vendor?  You see, insurance companies get discounts and you might find that you get directed to an expensive high street retailer. John’s best advice in this situation is for you to always keep your own jewellers informed of what’s happened. Have an ongoing relationship with them. They can offer you free advice. If your item becomes lost or stolen and you make a claim, you don’t always have to go with the jewellers that the insurance company suggests, but many people don’t know this.

~All metals will wear with time.
-claws loosen
-excessive wear
-have had a baby/lost weight
-small stones may loosen
-chipping

It is a common misconception that because “diamonds are forever” owners wear rings and then forget that metals wear with time. It’s inevitable. Hands especially are the most used and so with time, metals will wear away. Even something as simple as getting a claw hooked on a towel and tugging at it quickly can loosen it. It is therefore very important to maintain your jewelery. Some insurers don’t pay out on “wear and tear” which is to be expected. When getting your rings cleaned and polished you should receive your receipt to prove that you have maintained your pieces.

-As a final note, John mentioned that at this moment in time  gold prices have gone through the roof. Similarly with the current economic climate, diamonds and precious metals have increased in value tremendously. If you’re thinking of selling. Now is the time. Especially to places like China.

“Investors buy gold because it’s seen as a relatively stable asset to hold during uncertain economic times. It’s also used as a hedge against currency movements and inflation.” Read more

I hope you found this as helpful as I did. Many thanks to John Wood and Sonja, for taking some time out of your day to sit with me and provide me and the readers of this blog with such valuable information.

KellerWood Jewelers are based in 12D Meetinghouse Lane, Brighton, East Sussex, UK.
Contact them on Tel: (01273) 324524 kellerwood[at]btconnect[dot]com or visit their website:
www.kellerwood.com

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