Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community

Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/)
-   FIRE and Money (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/)
-   -   Jewelry Insurance (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/jewelry-insurance-109437.html)

Ready 05-28-2021 05:55 PM

Jewelry Insurance
 
Has anyone worked with a company called Jewelers Mutual (https://www.jewelersmutual.com/) to insure jewelry? MIL has a policy for her jewelry with them and her Rolex watch was recently stolen. She is insured for $5,000 with zero deductible. A local jeweler is offering to sell a used replacement for $6,500.

She is currently in assisted living and rarely leaves the complex so she really doesnít want a new watch. But it appears this company insists on reimbursing the jeweler directly for a replacement rather than issuing a check. I have tried logging in to her account but they donít have the policy details online. However, they distinguish themselves as specifically being replacement insurance vs reimbursement insurance.

Is it possible for a company to refuse to reimburse for a loss unless she purchases a replacement, even if the replacement is either not available or is more expensive than the amount of coverage?

MarieIG 05-28-2021 06:04 PM

Look to the language of the policy.

I recall long ago and far away when a DBF had a valuable star sapphire stolen, they replaced it.

I (temporarily) lost a diamond pendant. The carrier was going to replace it and we were arguing about the sufficiency of the clarity of the stone - when a co-worker found it, so the argument became moot.

So, yes, I do believe that it is possible.

Ready 06-09-2021 10:43 AM

I was able to obtain a copy of the insurance policy. It states that the insurance company may at their discretion either replace the watch or settle the claim.

I wrote a detailed letter to the claims adjuster explaining that MIL is in an assisted living facility where it is not practical nor safe to wear a Rolex watch. In addition, a replacement would cost closer to $8,000 to replace and the policy only covers up to $5,000.

They wrote back saying sorry, it's our choice and we choose not to settle. Not a great way to treat a customer who has paid more than 20 years of premiums to them and never had a claim.

I might try filing a complaint with the Florida insurance commission against them. But in the end it does say in the policy that it is up to them to settle or insist on replacement. MIL had no idea when she signed up for this policy that her rights on settling a claim were so limiting.

Is there any other approach I could try here?

CSdot 06-09-2021 10:50 AM

Is the insurance company paying the company $8,000 for the watch, or is your MIL being forced to pay $3,000 to get a replacement watch?

If the insurance company is paying $8,000, then let them buy her the replacement watch and turn around and sell it for her.

If they are forcing her to come out of pocket $3,000 to obtain her coverage, then you might want to talk to a Florida licensed attorney about sending a letter to the insurance company.

Ready 06-09-2021 10:54 AM

The insurance policy is capped at $5,000 so MIL is required to come up with the remaining $3,000 or buy a watch of a lesser value. In theory I could try to buy a watch for $5,000 and then sell it. But I know nothing about high end watches and I have no idea how to find one that I could confidently buy and then sell for what I paid for it.

Aerides 06-09-2021 11:01 AM

Ok so she had something like an $8k watch, and insured it for $5k.

Insurance co is saying, right, we'll pay you up to $5k for the purchase of a replacement (not cash, but we'll pay the retailer)?

that is how a lot of insurance works these days. You mention Florida, so for instance I can't file a claim for a damaged screened patio from a storm and say just pay me the cost, nope, I have to get it repaired and then the insurance pays the provider. If I under insure and can't afford the difference...well that's my problem unfortunately.

If you're looking to only get a $5k watch vs. nothing, then I'd keep shopping. It sounds like the policy is very specific. A broader policy with more flexibility on reimbursement would probably have cost a lot more to start with.

OldShooter 06-09-2021 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ready (Post 2618130)
The insurance policy is capped at $5,000 so MIL is required to come up with the remaining $3,000 or buy a watch of a lesser value. In theory I could try to buy a watch for $5,000 and then sell it. But I know nothing about high end watches and I have no idea how to find one that I could confidently buy and then sell for what I paid for it.

I would explain the problem to the owner or GM of the local jeweler. I'm sure they would help put together a buy-and-sell-back transaction for a fee, hopefully a few hundred dollars or less. It's almost free money to them and probably they would also be sympathetic ref the humanitarian need.

Ready 06-09-2021 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldShooter (Post 2618135)
I would explain the problem to the owner or GM of the local jeweler. I'm sure they would help put together a buy-and-sell-back transaction for a fee, hopefully a few hundred dollars or less. It's almost free money to them and probably they would also be sympathetic ref the humanitarian need.

Yes, I was thinking along those lines if I can't reach a settlement. The challenge is MIL lives in Florida in an assisted living facility and we are in California. She can't drive anywhere and her cognitive skills are declining so it creates some challenges.

We did confirm that we could buy the watch at Costco and submit the receipt to the insurance company for reimbursement. And then I guess we could return the watch to Costco. But I hate doing things like that. It's going to cost the insurance company $5K either way so I don't see why they are being so stubborn here.

RunningBum 06-09-2021 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ready (Post 2618142)
Yes, I was thinking along those lines if I can't reach a settlement. The challenge is MIL lives in Florida in an assisted living facility and we are in California. She can't drive anywhere and her cognitive skills are declining so it creates some challenges.

We did confirm that we could buy the watch at Costco and submit the receipt to the insurance company for reimbursement. And then I guess we could return the watch to Costco. But I hate doing things like that. It's going to cost the insurance company $5K either way so I don't see why they are being so stubborn here.

There may be a lot of reasons. Maybe enough people hock or hide their jewelry and report it stolen that they don't want to give cash, knowing they might get some to give up since they really don't want to replace it. Maybe they can buy the replacement at a discount and it's considerably less than $5K.

The company is well within their rights to give a replacement, so it could be viewed that you are the one being stubborn about it. Your MIL should have known how the policy covered loss. The Costco or jewelry store buy/return thing sounds like a reasonable thing to do, even if you don't want to do it.

ERD50 06-09-2021 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RunningBum (Post 2618147)
...The Costco or jewelry store buy/return thing sounds like a reasonable thing to do, even if you don't want to do it.

Agreed. While I dislike people taking advantage of a return policy, I think if you bought it, kept it in its original packaging, unopened, and came back a day later and said - "whoops, she found her watch, silly old people!", that's close enough to a little white lie that I wouldn't let it bother me. I've given Costco lots of money over the years.

-ERD50

CardsFan 06-09-2021 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 2618166)
Agreed. While I dislike people taking advantage of a return policy, I think if you bought it, kept it in its original packaging, unopened, and came back a day later and said - "whoops, she found her watch, silly old people!", that's close enough to a little white lie that I wouldn't let it bother me. I've given Costco lots of money over the years.

-ERD50

I would be really careful with this. If the insurance company is paying direct, then the seller would have every right, and even a responsibility, to refund back to the purchaser (the insurance company), or at least inform them that the watch was "found".

I think the only way I would play this is straight up. Have the insurance company buy a $5,000 watch, then re-sell it for what ever you can. Maybe $4,000 to $4,500. Consider it the deductible.

Ready 06-09-2021 01:47 PM

In the case of a Costco purchase they agreed to reimburse us after we submitted evidence that we purchased a watch of “like kind and quality” including a detailed receipt and any other documentation they request. So once they reimburse us they would have no further involvement with the transaction if we ended up returning or selling it down the road.

But regardless, MIL has been with them for 20 years now. She insures multiple pieces of jewelry and pays $3,000 per year for insurance. So they have collected at least $50K in revenue from her over the years without ever paying out a dime on a claim. Their policy allows for a settlement at their discretion. We have provided a detailed explanation of why it would be a substantial burden to replace the watch. So while they do not have to accommodate us, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to be flexible on their policy to take care of a long time client in a difficult situation. The fact that they will not cooperate does not leave a good taste in my mouth, even if they are within their so called rights to do so. And while a complaint with the Florida Insurance Commission may go nowhere, it will at least send them a message about how our displeasure with the situation.

CardsFan 06-09-2021 02:22 PM

OP,

You seem hung up on the "fact" that the insurance company is putting the screws to your MIL. They deal with fraud all the time, and I suspect jewelry fraud his high on the list. One of the ways they deal with that is to require you replace what was lost or stolen. Requiring you to abide by the contract is NOT unreasonable.

Further more, if MIL is paying over $3,000/yr, that means she must be insuring $150k to $300k worth of jewelry, so they probably don't think MIL is in a "difficult situation" financially.

From: https://www.geico.com/information/ab...rance/jewelry/

Quote:

Rates depend on where you live, but for most people, jewelry insurance will cost 1-2% of the value of your jewelry. For example, a $5,000 engagement ring could cost as little as $50 per year to insure.

ExFlyBoy5 06-09-2021 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ready (Post 2618123)

I might try filing a complaint with the Florida insurance commission against them. But in the end it does say in the policy that it is up to them to settle or insist on replacement. MIL had no idea when she signed up for this policy that her rights on settling a claim were so limiting.

What is there to complain about? It sounds like they are holding up their end of the deal. :coolsmiley:

You mention premiums and she "paid XXX amount why not give a little?" but that isn't how the insurance industry works. Her premiums go into a "pool" that insures ALL the customers.

Ready 06-09-2021 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 (Post 2618286)
What is there to complain about? It sounds like they are holding up their end of the deal. :coolsmiley:

Perhaps, but they market themselves as jewelry experts and they market their replacement coverage as better than the traditional settlement coverage on their website. Yet they provided no guidance to MIL on what the actual cost to replace her watch was, and so they left her holding the bag for an extra $3,000 if she wants to replace the item that was stolen. And while they could settle for the cash value, they refuse to do so, perhaps hoping that she will not want to spend the extra out of pocket money and they can avoid having to pay on the claim.

I have never worked with a jewelry insurance policy before. However I have managed many insurance policies for both home and work, and my general experience is that the companies Iíve worked with want to take care of their clients even if it means being a little flexible.

This company has not offered to help her find a replacement watch, or provided any guidance on how to proceed. This is not what Iím used to seeing when working on insurance claims.

Mark1 06-09-2021 04:41 PM

Why not just get a $5,000 watch and then MIL can do whatever she wants with it (put it in a drawer, give it away, sell it, etc.). Since MIL doesn't want a watch anyway, I'm not sure what the big deal is?

OldShooter 06-09-2021 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark1 (Post 2618343)
Why not just get a $5,000 watch and then MIL can do whatever she wants with it (put it in a drawer, give it away, sell it, etc.). Since MIL doesn't want a watch anyway, I'm not sure what the big deal is?

You may not be aware of it, but an assisted living facility is no place to keep small valuables of any kind. "Mysterious disappearance" is almost impossible for the operator to completely eliminate. DM had a locksmith install a modern cylinder lock on the jewelry drawer of her bedroom dresser but there were still disappearances and after she died we found the empty box that previously contained a very valuable gold bracelet. In the locked drawer.

Facility management called the police, as they do after each theft report, but as a practical matter those rich old folks are just too tempting and too easy a target for a few of the low-wage employees.

Aerides 06-09-2021 05:09 PM

It sounds like you want this company to be their better side, their marketed, soft side, when, in reality, all insurance companies are their fine print. They are in the business of minimizing payouts within the parameters of their explicit agreements.

They aren't mom and pops you can appeal to with emotion and customer relationships. I don't know of any insurance company that works that way, not really.

Your MIL had an agreement: If a loss occurs they provide a replacement up to $5000 in value. Not $8000, not a check. The "at their discretion" part always means only when they find it's in their best interest to do so, not the best interest of the insured. Your best bet is to find the best way to maximize the replacement in a way that minimizes outlay costs.

Maybe she doesn't actually have to buy a new watch, and it could be another piece of jewelry? See what your options are there exactly on the replacement definition, and you might find something more attractive.

Mark1 06-09-2021 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldShooter (Post 2618353)
You may not be aware of it, but an assisted living facility is no place to keep small valuables of any kind.....

+1 Yup, I get that. I was only commenting that MIL doesn't want a watch anyway so just get the most value possible ($5,000) and get on with life.

ivinsfan 06-09-2021 05:14 PM

well hold on if she pays 3K a year with and 5K cap, she needs to lost or have stolen a lot of jewels for this to pay off. Perhaps it a 5K cap per item, but still it seems like a bad use of money.



Who sold her this policy, the jeweler:laugh:? that would explain the you must buy jewelry aspect of it. sounds to me like she wasted 50K and will get 5K back in return. Sounds like your MIL bought a pig in a poke. I think that's why you are ticked off. I never heard of a car insurance company helping someone find a new car.



Yet another reason not to own high end jewelry.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:20 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.