When it Comes to your Valuables — It’s in the Details
When it comes to protecting what's important to you, details matter. From an item’s provenance to its condition, each and every meaningful item in your home has several minute characteristics that help determine its monetary value.
With most of us spending more time in our homes than ever before, now’s an opportune time to take stock of these meaningful -- and potentially valuable -- items that you’ve collected throughout your life. For appraisers and insurers alike, details make all the difference when it comes to determining the coverage an item needs to stay safe and sound. And hey, even if your investigations debunk the monetary value of an item, it’s nice to revisit the sentimental value of a well-loved trinket, isn’t it? Read through for our tips on taking stock of your collectibles.
Fine and Decorative Arts
Traditionally, an appraiser will either visit your home or request an in-person appointment to determine the value of a piece of art, antique or other decorative item. For the time being, the days of in-person appointments are a thing of the past, but that’s where technology can come in handy. There are a multitude of appraisal services available remotely -- including Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction estimate features -- that can help provide clarity on the potential value of a piece in your collection. With these remote services you will need to take careful photographs of the pieces, inspect for maker’s marks, signatures and tiny details (you’ll need to come clean about any dings, scratches or imperfections, too.) Beyond ascertaining its market value, during this process you may even notice new aspects of your beloved piece that remind you just why you value it so immensely in the first place.
Collectibles and Memorabilia
Now is an opportune time to look through any rare books, coins, sports or entertainment memorabilia you may own and double check a few things. First thing’s first — the certificate of authenticity. Do you have one and do you know where it is? Do a little decluttering, find those documents and, if possible, make a copy for safekeeping. Have you had the item appraised before? If not, look into the remote options available -- a few companies that specialize in collectibles and memorabilia include Heritage Auctions, Lelands Sports Memorabilia, and Abe Books.
This is also a great time to share the stories of these items with family. Maybe you’ve inherited a vintage movie poster signed by your grandfather’s favorite actor or have a first-edition book you found in a flea market -- the process of reevaluating these items can be just as rewarding as finalizing a new appraisal.
Jewelry and Watches
Our jewelry and watches may be seeing less wear these days, so why not use this time to take stock of these valuables, ensure they’re protected and stored correctly, and remind yourself of the reasons you treasure these items. Watch buffs can identify watches and learn the model information and current market value of their favorite timepieces right from their phone thanks to Chrono24's Watch Scanner App. If you’re looking to appraise a piece of jewelry, give your trusted jeweler a call to ask if they offer appraisal services electronically or if they have recommended online services such as Worthy.
Whether you wear your jewelry daily or keep it tucked away for a special occasion, storing your jewelry and watches is imperative to preserving their quality. Store fine jewelry so that the pieces do not touch each other -- diamonds can scratch other stones and metals. You should also keep jewelry grouped with like pieces -- silver with silver, costume pieces with costume pieces, and fine jewelry on its own. This separation helps prevent the metals from tarnishing when they interact with one another. If in doubt, be sure to store your fine jewelry and watches in a dark, dry and secure place, like a lockbox or a safe.
One of our trusted carriers, PURE Insurance, has a story that perfectly exemplifies why details matter when it comes to protecting your valuables.
On one memorable trip to an island a PURE member and her husband frequented, he had a custom ring crafted for his wife. After her husband passed away, the PURE member wore the ring each and every day. After some time, she was devastated when it fell off her finger and was lost for good. The ring was insured and she could have received a check for its value — this is how most insurance companies would handle the situation — but PURE went a step further. Her Member Advocate could tell how much the ring meant to her, so she found out more about where and when the ring was crafted. She reached out to every jeweler on the island the customer used to frequent until she found the exact jeweler who had made the original. The customer was then able to commision a replacement.
This is exactly the kind of service we’re talking about when we will illustrate the difference between the insurers we work with and the service provided by mass market carriers.
Insuring Your Valuables
Once you’ve rounded up your valuable items, be they jewelry or memorabilia, it’s time to turn to Kelly Klee to ensure that they’re adequately covered.
There are two basic approaches to insuring your valuables. You can let your home insurance cover your valuables or you can get a separate valuable articles policy.
The first option is limited, given that homeowner’s insurance policies typically have a sub-limit for valuable items that often only covers up to $5,000 in value. A separate valuable articles policy, on the other hand, can provide substantially better coverage. Beyond that, in most cases, if you have a valuables policy, you’ll qualify for a discount on your home coverage that can offset the cost of the separate policy. Further, you can adjust the amount of valuable contents coverage down on your home policy, which could save even more on your home premium.
Bob Klee, CPRIA and President and Co-Founder of Kelly Klee tells clients, “A general rule of thumb is the more specific you are with your coverage, the better the insurance company understands the risk, and the better value you are getting.”
Call 844-885-1600 and talk with a team member to see how Kelly Klee can help you find the right coverage for your valuables.