The Gift of Jewelry

Whether it’s a gift from someone or a gift to yourself, new jewelry can bring some sparkle to your life.

However, many people who find themselves victimized by burglars—or worse, a fire or some other disaster—find out too late that they didn’t have enough insurance to replace their jewelry.

Homeowners policies typically only cover valuable items such as jewelry up to a specific amount. There may be other issues as well, like whether your policy covers each individual piece of jewelry at a set amount or provides coverage for your collection as a whole.

This may sound complicated, but it’s really not—especially when you work with an independent agent who can explain your options and make sure you get the right coverage. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Do you need more coverage? Look at your policy or ask your agent to see what your coverage amounts are. Do you have one or two expensive pieces, or a number of smaller items that when added together exceed your limits?
  2. What kind of coverage should you get? This depends on your lifestyle. You may want to consider whether items are covered no matter where they are (such as if you travel internationally). You’ll also want to ask about actual cash value versus replacement value, and if you would be required to actually replace the jewelry in the event of a loss or if you could just keep the cash payment.
  3. Do you need an appraisal? In some instances, an insurance company will require you to get a piece appraised to determine its value.
  4. Do you have items with mainly sentimental value, or ones that are irreplaceable?If so, you might not need to purchase any additional insurance at all. But we recommend talking to your agent before making that decision.
  5. Do you have pictures? This doesn’t necessarily have to do with your insurance, but jewelers often are able to recreate lost or stolen pieces with the help of a photo.

Whatever you choose, remember you play an important role in keeping your jewelry protected, too: Be sure to store it securely, having the right coverage is great—but it’s even better when those special pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.


Do I Need Rental Car Insurance?

You’re standing at the rental car counter and they ask, “Do you want insurance with that?”

Most travelers have the vague notion they don’t really need to buy rental car insurance – that it is somehow covered already. With just enough doubt in their minds, and the need to make a quick decision, they buy it just to be safe.

Do I need to buy rental car insurance?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. However, you can likely reach a conclusion you’re comfortable with by considering these 3 questions.

  1. What Types of Insurance Are Available?

Typically, car rental agencies will offer 4 types of insurance to purchase:

  • Collision damage waiver – they won’t charge for a damaged or stolen vehicle.
  • Supplemental liability protection – you’re covered for costs to others if you cause an accident in the rental.
  • Personal accident insurance – pays for injuries or death of the driver and passengers of your rental car.
  • Personal effects coverage – reimburses you for stolen personal items while renting.
  1. What Coverage Do I Already Have?

Your car insurance likely will provide the same level of coverage for your rental as it does for your own car. Usually includes liability insurance, and may include collision, comprehensive and medical payments, too. There are exclusions, however. Some insurers won’t cover rentals in a foreign country, or rentals that are being used for business. Ask your agent to verify your coverages.

Consider your homeowners insurance, you may have personal property coverage to help repair or replace valuable belongings that are lost, damaged or stolen while you’re in a rental. Your deductible and policy limits will apply.

  1. What Coverage Might I Be Missing?

In the event something happens to the rental you may be looking at loss of use and diminished value fees that your regular policy may not cover. Loss of use is the income that the rental agency loses due to the vehicle being in the shop for repairs, and diminished value is the calculated reduction in a vehicle’s resale value as the result of an accident.

Next time you find yourself at the rental counter ask these questions and you will be able to make an informed decision.