Jewelry Insurance – Insuring your Engagement Ring and other Fine Jewelry
You might be surprised to learn that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy probably does not offer full coverage for your engagement ring and other fine jewelry. Your insurance policy probably covers jewelry theft, but not loss that occurs for other reasons.
Typical Insurance Policies
Renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies set limits for the loss of certain categories of personal property, including jewelry. Homeowner’s policies typically pay a maximum of $1,000 for jewelry theft. A renter’s insurance policy might have a lower limit for jewelry loss–$500 is common.
Does your insurance policy cover jewelry loss for reasons other than theft–such as for lost or damaged items? Read your policy carefully and ask your insurance agent to clarify the types of losses that are covered on your standard policy.
Additional Jewelry Insurance
You can usually purchase additional insurance for your fine jewelry, but be sure to ask your agent questions so that you have a good understanding of the coverage:
- Is there a deductible? If so, how much is it and how does raising or lowering the deductible affect your policy costs?
- Is an appraisal required prior to obtaining insurance? Are there only certain types of appraisers whose reports are accepted?
- Are the items covered no matter where they take place? Would the policy cover you for a loss that occurs during domestic or international travel?
- Are items covered for full replacement cost? Must you replace the item, or can you obtain a cash settlement?
- Does the policy cover repairs to damaged jewelry?
For those in the metrowest area of Massachusetts contact us at (508)-653-3131 or visit our website http://www.fyins.com/ for more information.
What Is The Definition A “Flood”?
In simple terms, a flood is an excess of water on land that is normally dry. Anywhere it rains, it can flood. A flood is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow. Many conditions can result in a flood: hurricanes, broken levees, outdated or clogged drainage systems and rapid accumulation of rainfall.
Myth: Flood Insurance Costs Too Much
You might be surprised how inexpensive it is. The average flood insurance policy costs less than $570 per year. Most homeowners live in a moderate-to-low risk area and are eligible for coverage at a preferred rate with building and contents coverage for one low price. In fact, building and contents coverage starts at just $119 per year. If you live in a high-risk area, a standard rated policy is the only option for you. It offers separate building and contents coverage. If your home is in a high-risk flood area and you have obtained a mortgage through a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase a flood insurance policy.
How to Purchase Flood Insurance
Flood Insurance is written through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal program authorized by FEMA. Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. You need to contact a Massachusetts Flood Insurance Agent for a quote and/or application (all policies written by the NFIP are written through insurance agents). Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period—from the date you purchase the flood insurance—before the policy goes into effect. The waiting period, however, does not apply to a new home purchase or refinancing of a mortgage if the mortgagee requires flood insurance.
What is Covered by Flood Insurance – and What’s Not
The following is a summary of items covered and not covered by flood insurance. For specific details as to what is covered, you have to refer to the actual policy.
What’s covered under Building?
- The insured building and its foundation.
- The electrical and plumbing systems.
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters.
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers.
- Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor.
- Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets.
- Window blinds.
- Detached garages for up to 10% of the building limit; other detached buildings require a separate Flood policy
What’s covered under Personal Property?
- Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronics
- Portable and window air conditioners.
- Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers.
- Carpets not included in building coverage
- Clothes washers and dryers.
- Food freezers and the food in them.
What’s never covered by flood insurance?
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner.
- Currency, precious metals, and valuable papers such as stock certificates.
- Property and belongings outside of a building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools.
- Living expenses such as temporary housing.
- Self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts.
Limitations to coverage in a basement
Commercial auto insurance is one of the most important aspects of your business insurance program. If your business uses a vehicle, or many vehicles, you need commercial auto insurance and you will want to ask your business insurance professional some important questions. You will also want to provide your business insurance professional with a complete picture of your vehicle use.
Consider the following points and ask the following questions.
How Many Vehicles and Drivers Will the Business Insure?
Commercial auto insurers often separate coverage types based on the number of vehicles and drivers to be insured. Fleet insurance is an option for businesses that will have a number of vehicles and drivers. The number of vehicles differs with each insurer and may depend on the class of vehicle. But, fleet insurance may be a less expensive alternative than individual, per vehicle policies.
What is the Policy Definition of Commercial Use?
Your personal auto policy will exclude coverage for commercial uses of your vehicle. A commercial policy will establish a definition of commercial use as well. It is important that you read the definition and discuss this with your insurance professional. If there is any question, it is better to obtain a commercial auto policy so that, in case of an accident, there is no chance of being uninsured.
How Can You Lower Premium Costs?
Commercial auto business insurance premiums can be lowered by:
- Business Location – the location of the vehicles determines premiums for theft.
- Driver Records – hire only qualified drivers with safe driving records.
- Choice of Vehicle – sales people may want sports cars, but five-star safety rated, domestic, mid-sized sedans have the lowest premiums.
- Deductibles – can your business afford part of the risk and maintain a high deductible? If so, your premiums will be lower.
- Safety and Anti-Theft Devices – alarms, GPS tracking, air bags, seat belts, and other such devices can significantly lower premiums.
Special Commercial Coverages and Considerations
Certain businesses must adhere to federal and state regulatory standards in the operations of their vehicles. For example, if your business will be hauling cargo interstate, there are specific Department of Transportation requirements for insurance that must be met. You will need to make sure you and your insurance professional have a thorough understanding of those requirements. Also, if you will be delivering or hauling for others or using other’s equipment such as leased trailers or rental equipment, you will need hired or non-owned vehicle coverage.
Who is the Insured?
Make sure you know the insured. Sound simple? Maybe. But, all to often businesses set up a leasing company to lease equipment to the main company and the leasing company is the titled owner of the vehicles. A common mistake is to identify the main company and not the leasing company as the titled owner on the policy. Or, the dba of the company and not the full name of the company is listed. You want the full name of the company as an insured, the titled owner, any affiliates, and dba, and all employees as insureds on your commercial auto policy.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
Some financial planners say you need enough life insurance to replace five to seven years of your salary. If you have young children or significant debt, you should bump up your coverage so you have enough to replace as much as 10 years of your salary, they say. That would mean a person making $50,000 a year should have anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000 worth of coverage or more.
Remember, the sole purpose of life insurance is to replace your income in case you die, so that your dependents can maintain their current lifestyle.
Factors to consider include whether the surviving partner will have child care expenses if one partner is out of the picture. Do you have other assets on which to draw? Will your children be out of the nest soon? These, and many other factors, influence the decision on how much coverage you need.
Buying a whole-life policy doesn’t necessarily mean you are fully insured. Because of the investment component of whole life, the policies are much more expensive than term. Don’t simply buy less coverage, as it defeats the purpose of buying insurance in the first place: to cover dependents.
How Long A Term?
Agents like to talk about policies you can keep throughout your life. What they sometimes won’t tell you is that you don’t need life insurance coverage throughout your life.
The secret to buying a policy with the right term is figuring out how long you need to be insured. You start by estimating when your children will be out on their own and no longer in need of your financial support.
So if your children are 3 and 5 now, you’d probably want a policy that covers you at least until the youngest is 22, so that’s about a 20-year term. But this depends somewhat on your age as well. Say you also want to cover your spouse for your lost income until what would be your normal retirement age, 65, and you’re only 35 now. Then you would want a 30-year policy. Keep in mind that insurance gets very expensive as you leave your 50s. So you may pay more to cover yourself until 65, even if you lock in a level-premium, 30-year policy when you are 35. Coverage past age 70 or so may be unattainable.
Life insurance is not a substitute for a retirement plan. You want to plan so that you’ll have enough to live on when you retire, and you won’t have to keep paying insurance premiums. There are exceptions, however. People who start families late in life, or who have complex estate-planning issues, may well have a need for life insurance beyond the customary retirement age.
One more thing: Steer clear of so-called mortgage insurance policies, which pay off the balance on your mortgage if you die. The problem is that you are paying for a steadily declining amount of coverage, as you pay down your mortgage. It’s best to include the mortgage payments in your calculations when determining how much coverage you need.