20 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR INSURANCE AGENT
1. Is the appraisal for full coverage? Or how much will it cost for full coverage?
2. What is the difference between scheduled coverage and unscheduled coverage?
3. Is there a deductible? If so, how much? Do I have the option to increase the deductible and thus lower my premium?
4. Is my policy all-risk (covers, loss, damage, mysterious disappearance?)
5. Am I still covered if there is negligence or carelessness involved?
6. Is the item covered if lost, stolen or damaged while in the possession of others (being repaired, or worn by a relative or friend)?
7. If there is a loss, do I have a choice of a full cash-out or will I have to accept less? Or, is the policy based on replacement only?
8. Can I go to whomever I wish for replacement?
9. If a loss has been replaced through the insurance company source, will I be allowed to verify proper replacement by an independent firm or qualified independent . appraiser? What is the procedure if the replacement is not adequate in their opinion?
10. Are there geographical limitations to coverage?
11. Is depreciation ever imposed (to what and how is it computed)?
12. Am I limited to the appraised replacement cost should there be a sizable increase in value?
13. If there is damage to a piece, can I replace it or will I be limited to repair?
14. What if a lost item is irreplaceable, like a one-of-a-kind piece or an item that is no longer being produced?
15. If an item is trademarked or custom made from a particular jeweler or designer (i.e. Tiffany’s, David Yurman) will it be replaced with the same item from that .jeweler or another of similar like and kind?
16. Are there any security precautions required? If not, would there be a premium savings if special precautions were taken, i.e. the items were kept in a home safe .or in a bank vault when not worn?
17. What proof is needed to justify a claim?
18. Are there any exclusions? What types of property of covered?
19. What is the “pair” and “set” clause? Will the insurance cover an additional amount for matching a missing item in a set if it has not been computed or stated?
20. Will you show me in writing the actual language in the policy which addresses each concern I have stated?
Please keep in mind, that if you request cash-out for a claim, the amount is based on what it costs the insurance company to replace it. Insurance companies often have agreements with jewelers or manufacturers to replace items for less than retail values, therefore; the amount of cash out can be significantly less than the amount stated on an appraisal.
For special items, some insurance companies will write an Actual Cash Value policy, which means you will receive a check in that exact amount if there is a claim settlement. However, this is a specific type of policy not written by many insurance companies, so it must be specifically requested, and may not be offered by your insurance company.
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