November 2001

JEWELRY INSURANCE ISSUES (formerly IM News), provides monthly insight and information for jewelry insurance agents, underwriters and claims adjusters.

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Jewelry Insurance Issues

Table of Contents

Click on article titles in red

2017

Moral Hazard, Documents and the Bottom Line - January

Ruby and Jade - February

How to mail a diamond - March

Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Standards: JISO - April

2016

Inflated appraisals—alive & well! Shady lab reports—alive & well! MORAL HAZARD—ALIVE & WELL! - January

Clarity Enhancements v. Inherent Vice - February

How green is my emerald? - March

Cruise Jewelry - What's the problem? - April

Crown of Light®- how special is it? - May

Diamonds at Auction — Big gems, big prices, and the trickle-down effect - June

Are you sure her wedding jewelry is covered? - July

What Affects Jewelry Valuation? - August

What to look for – on the jewelry appraisal, on the cert, and on other documents - September

Bigger & Bigger Diamonds - October

Scam season is always NOW - November

Ocean Diamonds - December

2015

Pair & Set Jewelry Claims and the Accidental Tourist - January

Is that brand-name diamond a cut above the others? - February

Vacation Jewelry – Insurer beware! - March

Apple's Smartwatch – The risk of a wrist computer - April

Why you should read that appraisal - May

Smoking Gun! - June

Color-Grading Diamond: the Master Stones - July

Padparadscha—a special term for a special stone - August

Jewelry Appraisal Fees - September

Insuring a Rolex - steps to take, things to consider - October

Diamond camouflage and how to see through it - November

GIA Hacked! - December

2014

Who Grades? - January

Sales, discounts, price reductions, bargains, specials, mark-downs . . . . and valuation - February

Credential Conundrum - March

Frankenwatches - April

Fakes, fakes, and more fakes - May

Marketing Confusion — What is this gem anyway? - June

12 Reasons Not to Insure a Rolex! - July

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 5-7 - August

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 8-10 - September

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 11-12 - October

The Doublet Masquerade - November

Is the gem suitable for the jewelry? Is this a good insurance risk? - December

2013

Wedding Rings on HO? NO! - January

Silver: the new gold - February

Point Protection - March

Tiffany v. Costco - April

What counts in valuing a diamond? - May

Appraising Jewelry - What's a credential worth? - June

A Cutting Question concerning vintage diamonds - July

Synthesized Diamonds - Scam update - August

Pretty in Pink - Kunzite on parade... - September

Preventing jewelry losses - October

Scratch a diamond and you'll find . . .??? - November

Synthetics in the Mix - December

2012

Advanced Gem Lab - A deeper look at colored gems - January

Whose Diamond? - February

Appraisal Inflation - It Keeps On Keeping On - March

Big Emerald - April

Changing colors and making gems: Are we seeing "beautiful lies"? - May

Diamonds - Out of Africa. . . or out of a lab? - June

Appraiser's Dream Contest - July

GIA & the Magic of Certificates - August

Pricey when it's hot: What happens when it's not? - September

Fooling With Gold - October

Tanzanite – December's stone - November

Branding Diamonds - What do those names mean? - December

2011

Unappraisable Jewelry - January

Replicas - Are they the real thing? - February

Composite Rubies- From bad to worse - March

Jewelry Hallmark - A Well-Kept Secret - April

Non-Disclosure: Following a Trail of Deception - May

Preserving the Diamond Dream - June

Spinel in the Spotlight - July

Jewelry 24/7 - Electronic Shopping - August

Diamond Bubble? - September

Disclosure: HPHT - October

"Hearts & Arrows" Diamonds - November

How a Gem Lab Looks at Diamonds - December

2010

Emeralds - And What They Include - January

Pink Diamonds: From Astronomical to Affordable - February

Palladium-the Other Precious White Metal - March

Bridal Jewelry - April

The Corundum Spectrum - May

How Photos Cut Fraud - and help the insured - June

The Price of Fad - July

Old Cut, New Cut-It's All about Diamonds - August

EightStar Diamonds-Beyond Ideal - September

The Hazard of Fakes - October

Jewelry with a Story - November

Counterfeit Watches - December

2009

Blue Diamond-cool, rare and expensive-sometimes - January

Turning Jewelry into Cash—
Strategy in a Bad Economy
- February

Enhancing the Stone - March

Being Certain about the Cert - April

Every Picture Tells a Story - May

Color-Grading Diamonds - June

The Newest Diamond Substitute - July

What Happens to Stolen Jewelry - August

Jewelry As an Investment - September

Black Diamond: Paradox of a Gem - October

Protect Your Homeowners Market—Keep Jewelry OFF HO Policies! - November

What’s So Great about JISO Appraisal Forms & Standards? - December

2008

Garnet - and Its Many Incarnations - January

Organic Gems - February

Do Your Jewelry Insurance Settlements Make You Look Bad? - March

Don't Be Duped by Fake JISO Appraisal - April

Diamonds in the Rough - May

The Cultured Club - June

Sapphire-Gem Superstar - July

It's a Certified Diamond! 
- But who's saying so?
- August

FTC Decides: Culture Is In! - September

Paraiba Tourmaline – What's in a Name? - October

How Fancy is Brown? - November

CZ – The Great Pretender - December

2007

Moissanite's New Spin - January

Online Jewelry - Buying and Insuring - February

Blood Diamonds - March

Damaged Jewelry, Don't Assume!- April

Chocolate Pearls - May

Appraisal Puff-Up vs Useful Appraisal - June

It's Art, but is it Jewelry?
- July

Diamonds Wear Coats of Many Colors - August

DANGER! eBay Jewelry "Bargains" - September

TV Shopping for Jewelry - October

Enhanced Emerald: clever coverup - November

How do you like your rubies -
leaded or unleaded?
- December

2006

The New Platinum: A Story of Alloys - January

Ruby Ruse - February

How Big are Diamonds Anyway? - March

GIA Diamond Scandal
Has Silver Lining for Insurers
- April

Watch Out for Big-Box Retailers Insurance Appraisals - May

Mixing It Up: Natural and Synthetic Diamonds Together - June

Tanzanite - Warning: Fragile - July

Red Diamonds - August

Inflated Valuations & Questionable Certificates - September

Emeralds - October

Where Do Real Diamonds Come From? - November

Counterfeit Watches - The Mushroom War - December

2005

The Lure of Colored Diamonds - January

Synthetic Colored Diamonds - February

Watches: What to Watch for - March

When is a Pear not a Pair? - April

The Truth About Topaz - May

White Gold: How White is White? - June

One of a Kind - or Not - July

Jewelry in Disguise - August

Valued Contract for Jewelry? Proceed with Caution! - September

Antiques, Replicas and All Their Cousins
October

Grading the Color of Colored Diamonds
November

New GIA Cut Grade for Diamonds - December

2004

Synthetic Diamonds - and Insuring Tips - January

Bogus Appraisals and Fraud - February

A Picture is Worth Thousands of Dollars - March

Don't be Duped by Fracture Filling - April

Gem Scams Point to Need for Change - May

What is a Good Appraisal - June

4Cs of Color Gemstones - July

Gem Laser Drilling: The Next Generation - August

Why Update an Appraisal? - September

When to Recommend an Appraisal Update or a Second Appraisal - October

Secrets of Sapphire - November

Will the Real Ruby Please Stand Up - December

2003

Mysterious Orient:
A Tale of Loss
- January

Bogus Diamond Certificates and Appraisals - February

Can Valuations be Trusted? - March

Spotting a Bogus Appraisal or Certificate - April

Counterfeit Diamond Certificates - May

Case of the Mysterious "Rare" Sapphires - June

Politically Correct Diamonds - July

Name Brand Diamonds - September

Princess Cut: Black Sheep of Diamonds - October

Reincarnate as a Diamond - November

Synthetic Diamonds - December

2002

Irradiated Mail/Irradiated Gems - January

Fake Diamonds (Moissonite) - February

GIA Diamond Report - March

AGS and Other Diamond Certificates - April

Colored Stone Certificates - May

Damaged Jewelry: Don't Pay for Nature's Mistakes - June

The Case of the "Self-Healing" Emerald - July

Mysterious Disappearance: Case of the Missing Opals - August

The Discount Mirage - September

What Can You Learn from Salvage? - October

Gaining from Partial Loss - November

Year in Review - December

2001

Colored Diamonds - January

Good as Gold - February

Disclose Gem Treatments - March

FTC Jewelry Guidelines - April

Myths Part I: Each Piece is Unique - May

Myths Part II: Myths, Lies, & Half-Truths - June

New Trend: Old Cut Stones - October

The Appraisal Process - November

Year in Review - December

2000

Deceptive Pricing - January

Gems - Natural or Manmade - February

Jeweler/Appraisal Credentials - March

Fracture Filling - April

Salvage Jewelery - May

Gem Treatments - June

Don't Ask/Don't Tell - A Buying Nightmare - July

Laser Drilling of Diamonds - August

Jeweler Ethics or the Lack Thereof - September

Gem Scam - October

The Truth about Clarity Grading - November

Year in Review - December

 

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THE APPRAISAL PROCESS

Exactly what is a good insurance appraisal anyway?

Brevity may be the soul of wit but it's definitely not the soul of a good appraisal. The days of the one-line appraisal—"one gold and diamond ring, $2000"—are over. Or at least they shouldn't be accepted by insurers.

An insurance appraisal must be useful to the underwriter and, should a claim be made, the adjuster. It needs a detailed description as well as a valuation, and it must be prepared by a reliable appraiser.

Valuation is the first thing the underwriter wants to know. The valuation should be based on the current selling price—not an imaginary "list price" that the store always discounts, and not necessarily the purchase price. The date on the appraisal shows when the valuation was determined. This is important, since jewelry can rise or fall in value. Particularly with expensive jewelry, the valuation should be updated every few years to keep it current and the premiums appropriate.

A detailed description is important to the underwriter but crucial in settling a claim. Descriptive appraisals can be hard to come by. A survey by JCRS of appraisals submitted to 21 insurance companies found that most of them lacked the most basic information. For example, 43% of diamond appraisals neglected to give even carat weight. Although the survey was conducted several years ago, little has changed. How long will the insurance industry continue to accept inadequate appraisals?

Unlike other property claims, where the item is usually damaged, most jewelry losses are total. When a claim is made, there's nothing to inspect. Without a detailed description, the adjuster is at the jeweler's mercy, and even the most honest jeweler will have to rely on guesswork. For such a settlement the insurer will probably pay more than is necessary and the claimant will likely be disappointed. On the other hand, with a description of the lost piece, the adjuster can ask several jewelers to price a replacement and choose the lowest bid, and the policyholder is assured of a like-kind replacement.

The accuracy of both valuation and description depends on the reliability of the jeweler/appraiser. TV reporters who took a piece of jewelry to several jewelers for appraisal received widely varying valuations. Even the same jeweler would come up with different valuations for the same piece presented on different occasions.

The title "jeweler" implies no training or expertise—anyone who sells jewelry is a "jeweler." The JCRS survey of insurance appraisals in 16 states found that only 21% were prepared by graduate gemologists. It is possible for a jeweler to gain some expertise on the job, so you could cross your fingers and hope for a truthful appraisal. A better approach is to seek out a jeweler/appraiser who has a graduate gemologist (GG) degree. Note that a jeweler can become a gemologist by taking a brief correspondence course, with no lab work involved. A graduate gemologist (GG) degree requires six months' training and includes practical experience in a gem lab.

Even a graduate gemologist may not understand how the insurer uses an appraisal and so may leave out crucial information. Certified Insurance Appraisers (CIA™) are graduate gemologists who have taken additional training in writing appraisals for insurance. They provide detailed information and warrant that they have inspected the jewelry in a gemological lab, so the adjuster can accurately price replacements.

FOR AGENTS & UNDERWRITING

ACORD, the nonprofit organization that develops standards for the insurance industry, has incorporated the above standards into its Jewelry Insurance Appraisal form 78/79.

ACORD form 78/79 says the purpose of an appraisal is to "1) Describe the item in such detail as to adequately identify it from other similar types of jewelry, 2) verify the condition (and existence) of same, and 3) assign a reasonable value for the item." The appraisal warrants that any synthetic gems and uncommon gem treatments will be identified.

An appraisal on ACORD 78/79 gives the insurer all necessary information in a standardized, easy-to-read format. It warrants that the appraiser is a graduate gemologist who is also trained as a Certified Insurance Appraiser™.

FOR CLAIMS

ACORD 78/79 is the best appraisal to work from in settling a claim. If you do not have an ACORD 78/79, use ACORD 18, Jewelry Appraisal & Claim Evaluation form. ACORD 18 lets you pick out relevant information from the documents you have (appraisal, sales receipt, photo, sketch), lay it out in a standardized format, and see what information may be missing. You can then interview the claimant and possibly gain more specifics that will help the jeweler price a replacement.

 

©2000-2017, JCRS Inland Marine Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. www.jcrs.com

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