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Valentine’s Day is upon us, and thoughts of people everywhere turn to… jewelry.

Those who don’t buy shiny things for Valentine’s Day may prefer other types of valuables, such as electronics, artwork, antiques, wine and furs. All totaled Valentine’s Day spending will tally approximately $17.6 billion of retail sales, with $4.1 billion of that being spent on jewelry, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Trends report.

Whatever the purchase, American consumers should take steps to safeguard and insure their valuables.  Homeowners insurance generally covers valuable and precious items such as jewelry, but they usually have limits, so it’s important for consumers to check with a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent to make sure they’re covered.

While most homeowner’s insurance policies cover risks such as fire, lightning, and windstorm, they may exclude many events that create financial losses- for example, a claim that is submittedbecause “my three-year-old dropped my new diamond earrings into the toilet and flushed” may not be covered under a typical policy. To cover these kinds of incidents—or other situations that the insurance industry has dubbed “mysterious disappearance” —you’ll need what’s known as a valuable articles personal property endorsement on your homeowner’s contract. Some homeowner’s insurance carriers also sell stand-alone valuables policies.

Another reason to contact your Trusted Choice agent? Typically insurance policies restrict the dollar amount of coverage for individual valuable items in the case of theft ($1,000- $1,500), so you want to make sure that if jewelry is ever stolen, you’re not stuck with coverage that is less than the value of the item.

With valuable items, two of the biggest snags that consumers run into at the time of a claim are proving that an item is missing or stolen, and establishing a value for the items. In fact, insurance carriers, when contacted for a claim, sometimes even ask consumers to get a police report for the missing item, even if the loss was not thought to be a theft.

Proving the value of items is very important when it’s time to file a claim. Claims are simpler and faster for consumers when they have photos of valuable items and collections; receipts or appraisal reports: and a written inventory.

Most additions to your homeowners policy or a separate valuables policies can provide:

• Coverage for mysterious disappearance as well as flooding or breakage.
• $0 deductible, which means that the entire replacement cost of that engagement ring is covered.
• Blanket coverage for groups of valuables such as jewelry, crystal, or fine arts.
• “Scheduled” coverage (meaning that items are individually listed) for valuables.
• Coverage for valuables purchased but not yet reported to the insurance agent or carrier.

Whatever is on your Valentine’s Day wish list or shopping list, protect it. It’ll help you love it even more. Need to know what’s best to protect your Valentine’s Day gift? Ask your Trusted Choice insurance professional. He or she may need a copy of your receipt or bill of sale for jewelry, furs, electronics and other valuable items in order to help secure the right coverage, but in the end, you’ll love them for it.

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Posted 2:37 PM  View Comments

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