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How Insurance Companies Handle Claims for Lost or Stolen Jewelry

Personal Property

 

 

Do you need to insure your valuable items on a separate insurance policy in PA?

In Pennsylvania, insuring valuable items on a separate policy is a relatively inexpensive way to ensure you have coverage in the event the valuable items are lost, stolen or damaged.  And if you live in the suburbs, like Royersford, it’s even less expensive.

These policies are most often called, a Personal Articles Floater or a Personal Articles Policy.  The purpose is to insure the items at an agreed value with a low deductible or no deductible at all.

A separate insurance policy is perfect for a college student bringing valuable items to school.

 

 

What is considered a valuable item?

 

Jewelry, fine arts, computers and iPads, bicycles, expensive cameras.  These are the most common items that are insured on a separate policy.

A Nervous Groom

A Nervous Groom getting ready to Tie the Knot!

 

Doesn’t your Homeowners policy provide coverage for these things?

 

Yes it does.  However, there are a few major negatives to not having a separate policy.  If you go through your Homeowners policy….

  1. You are subject to the Homeowners Deductible.  This could be as low as $250 or as high as $1,000 or in some cases even higher.  With a separate policy, in most cases the deductible is ZERO!
  2. You will lose your Loss Free Discount.  If you are receiving a Loss Free Discount and you submit a claim you will lose the discount.  I have seen the discount as high as $400.  You WILL lose that discount if you submit a claim and it is paid for any reason.
  3. There are limits on your policy.  For example, our most common Travelers Homeowners policy offers a limit of $3,000 to an insured if their jewelry is lost or stolen.  This means you can not collect any more than that amount for lost or stolen jewelry.
  4. You now have a claim on your record.  Just one claim makes it difficult to find a competitive price if you shop your policy with other carriers.

 

Story Time!

 

We had an Insured a few months back that had about $7,000 worth of jewelry stolen from her house.  The thief was a neighbor who was able to get in the house while the Insured was not at home.  By the time our Insured realized the jewelry was missing the thief had pawned all of it.

The neighbor was caught and arrested but the money or jewelry has not been recovered.  She did not have the jewelry insured on a separate policy.  Therefore, she was only able to receive $3,000 from Travelers.  She did not have to pay her deductible because the amount of jewelry stolen exceeded her policy limit.   But she did lose her loss free discount.

The Insured inherited the jewelry from her mother a few years ago.  If you inherit jewelry or if you make a big purchase, like an engagement ring or computer or something else with high value, be sure to let your agent know.

 

What is the Cost?

 

I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia.  For $5,000 worth of coverage for jewelry, the cost is $60 for the year.  $120 for ten thousand dollars worth of coverage.  In Philadelphia, the cost is $85 for the year for $5,000 worth of coverage.  That is the cost for a policy with a zero dollar deductible.  Read this post if you are looking for ways to save on your Homeowners policy.  This one may help too.

 

A separate policy for your high value items is a no-brainer.  The cost is minimal and the things you are insuring have a lot of meaning to you and will need to be replaced if they are lost, stolen or damaged.  In some cases, like electronic devices, receipts will be sufficient to prove the value.  In cases like jewelry, antiques and fine arts an appraisal may be required.

 

If you have lost a valuable piece of jewelry and you want to try and get it back, there is a company that can help you.  The Ring Finders is an online directory of metal detecting specialists that will help people find your list jewelry.  Check them out today if you have lost something you want to get back!

 

This is not something you want to put off.  Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830, for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

 

What to do When A Tree Falls on Your House

We have had some wicked storms in the northeast the last few years which has brought some of the heaviest winds I have heard.  And each year, before a big storm, people call in and ask how their Homeowners Policy covers damage caused by fallen trees.  So, per your request, please use this as a guide to answer those questions.

 

wracked_house_01

Photo credit to izismile.com

 

 

Of course, each policy is different so you still may want to send your agent a quick email or call them on the phone to double check.  But generally speaking, what I have seen is the companies offer basically the same coverage.

 

Is there automatic coverage to remove a fallen tree?

 

No.

 

In order for coverage to kick in there must be 1 of two things (could be both)

  1. The tree causes damage to your house.
  2. The tree doesn’t cause damage but does land on a walkway, driveway, other structure or your house.

 

Most companies will pay to remove a tree from your walkway, driveway house or other structure regardless of if there is damage.  Travelers Insurance, for example, will pay whatever it takes to remove the tree from the structure and place it on the ground.  From there, they will pay up to $500 to remove the tree from your property.

 

The insurance companies will pay for whatever exterior and interior damage that occurred as a result of the fallen tree.

 

Is there coverage for the tree?

 

It depends on the cause of damage.  Typically the companies will pay, up to a set limit, for the replacement of trees or shrubs as a result of lightning, vandalism or theft but will not pay to replace a tree damaged by wind or water.  You would need to pay your deductible if there is coverage.

 

What if your tree falls onto your neighbor’s house?

 

If your tree falls onto your neighbor’s house then that neighbor should contact their insurance company.  Your insurance company WILL NOT pay for damage to your neighbor’s property.  Your contract with your insurance company covers only your property.  Your insurance company will cover the property you own, not your neighbor’s.

It doesn’t mean you can’t help them with their deductible if you want to be a good neighbor!  But you are certainly not obligated to do so.

Same thing, if your neighbor’s tree falls onto your property then you must submit a claim through your insurance company.

The only way that you (or your neighbor) could possibly be liable is if their has been a discussion about a dead tree and a request to cut down that tree.  Of course, you better have those discussions documented.

 

Have you ever had a tree cause damage to your house?  Comment below if you have.

 

 

 

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My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

 

 

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