From San Francisco, to Los Angeles, to Westchester, to Los Alamitos, to Anaheim & Newport Beach and beyond, there has been a spike in reported homes burglaries.
And, it always seems like there will be an estimate of the value of the jewelry and cash taken from the home.
It’s extremely common to hear, in the news report: “A home in [your neighborhood] was burglarized today, and it’s believed that the burglars got away with an estimated $20,000 in jewelry and some cash”.
Or, “thieves ransack a home on the west side and get away with over $50,000 in jewelry”!
What happens in these cases is that good people are hurt by bad people. And, to compound the injury, most people don’t have enough insurance coverage for jewelry. The vast majority of people think that a burglary won’t happen to them; so, they don’t insure their valuables properly.
Homeowner's insurance policies by design limit your recovery for theft of jewelry, and these policies flat out won’t pay for any jewelry if you just lose it. The only way these policies will pay for any significant loss of jewelry, due to theft, is to increase the jewelry coverage; there are two ways to do this:
- Itemize your nicer pieces of jewelry, what we call a schedule. When you do this and pay the additional premium, based on the currently appraised value of these items, most companies will pay the insured value of the jewelry pieces –if stolen or lost – or replace the items. Rates for this protection cover quite a range, depending upon where you live, but in the southern California area the rates typically range from $17 per thousand of scheduled value up to $25 per $1,000.
- The second way to insure jewelry for a large portion of a loss is to purchase higher coverage limits for un-itemized (un-scheduled) jewelry. This costs less to do, but you get a lot less coverage had your scheduled the jewelry. The claim is subject to the policy language (still excluding simply lost jewelry, in most cases) and your policy’s deductible; and, there is still usually a “per item” maximum coverage amount.
Jewelry is often spoken of as an investment; personally, I never believed it, and I still believe it wasn’t true for several decades. But now, with the higher prices for gold (doubling in the past several years) and silver – and the cost of quality gems ever-increasing, if you have some nice pieces that you purchased a while ago, it is quite likely that they have become a passive investment for you. And you stand to lose a lot if your jewelry is lost or stolen and you don’t have coverage for it.
So contact your local insurance agent or our office for information on how to properly insure your jewelry. It’s not hard to do, and it’s well worth the additional insurance premium. Or, risk being the people that lost $20,000 to $50,000 in a home burglary with no insurance to pay for the loss. I guarantee you that you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t do something about this.
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