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8 North King Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Newsletter

29Jul. 2014

Protect Your Treasures

If Antiques Roadshow came to Springfield, do you have something in your home that you would bring for an appraisal?

An artwork you found at a yard sale like this young collector?

A family heirloom like this Tiffany & Co. pendant watch?

If you’ve ever watched Antiques Roadshow, you know that the owners of such items are often surprised by their value.

And appraisers will often advise them to insure the item right after they reveal their appraisal.

The reason for this advice is that regular insurance policies have set limits on jewelry and artwork that reimburse only the actual cash value of the item. Even with the addition of replacement cost coverage, items falling under a homeowners policy are limited to $1,000 per jewelry item loss and $2,500 per artwork by loss of theft.

If you have jewelry or artwork that is unique, has great sentimental value or is difficult to replace, you should have it appraised and scheduled separately on your homeowners policy. This coverage can protect you in case of damage or loss and help you regain more of the item’s value or replace the item.

As the value of gold and silver fluctuates, gold and silver jewelry and tableware should be assessed every three or four years. With appraisals at this interval, you could be confident that you would get an accurate reimbursement or replacement while also not paying a higher premium than necessary.

Artwork and other items with more stable values can be appraised at longer intervals, every eight to ten years.

You can also get blanket coverage for jewelry and other valuables that are not rare but whose value still exceeds the limit of liability in your homeowners policy. Gold necklaces, watches and diamond rings can fall into this category. If a loss incurs in this situation, the insurance company often has a wholesale jeweler that they will work with to replace your item with a similar one.

Sometimes we forget about the treasures in our home. Or we are so used to their presence that we don’t think about them. Or we discover items we didn’t know existed like the woman who discovered her father’s Swiss watch collection in a cardboard box in his garage.

To reacquaint yourself with the treasures in your own home, think about jewelry, fine art and other valuables that you may have acquired:

• As an engagement or wedding gift
• As an inheritance
• When you traveled overseas
• From antiquing

Once you have identified those items, you can take jewelry to most reputable jewelry stores to get an appraisal. Artwork can be more challenging. We have worked with the Smith College Museum of Art and other professionals to locate and dispatch experts.

Please call your account manager if you have any questions or need help locating an appraiser.

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