Tips For Claiming Insurance For A Lost or Stolen Engagement Ring September 29, 2017 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog
After the initial horror at realizing your ring is no longer where it should be, your thoughts will undoubtedly switch to what your options are, and this is where you feel some relief at being properly insured against theft or loss. Most insurers will have their own slightly varied procedure for making a claim, but many aspects will be similar across all companies. So what do you need to do to make the whole claim process a little easier?
Click here to read our definitive guide on how to ensure your ring, and to use our engagement ring insurance calculator.
Know Your Policy – This may seem obvious, but you must know what exactly you are claiming for. Not the ring itself, but how the policy is set up to pay out. Generally, the two types of jewelry (or any) insurance are “Cash Value” and “Replacement Cost”. They may seem like the same thing, but they’re not. A cash value policy will take into account depreciation from the cost at the time of purchase, and you can be sure your insurance company won’t be assuming the ring has gone up in value. A replacement cost policy takes all the guesswork out, and the insurer will simply pay for an identical ring to be purchased.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Insurers usually get big discounts from suppliers, especially if they use them all the time, and so their valuation will be based on what they pay, not what you pay. You can argue this and you probably have more chance of being successful than you might think. Good insurers don’t object to paying out, they just object to paying out a lot of dollars on a single claim, so they will use any trick they can to reduce it.
Many insurers may let you search for a replacement engagement ring. Make sure that you buy from a reputable seller because the insurance company will not look into the quality of the replacement, but rather the price.
Knowing the policy or not won’t change the outcome, but it will stop any potentially nasty surprises when the payout is made.
Be Prepared – You should have all the information your insurer will require, available to you. As well as your name and address, they will need the insurance policy number, and any references relating to add-on clauses for jewelry you have, if your insurance company works that way. You’ll also need the date the ring was stolen or that you discovered the loss, the circumstances pertaining to how the loss or theft occurred, and any crime reference number supplied by the police if appropriate.
You will also need a recent appraisal for the ring. If you don’t have one, you may be at risk of the insurance company putting their own valuation on it which will likely be somewhat lower than the value you or your local appraiser might apply.
Have photos and other evidence of ownership ready to produce when asked, and you will be asked. The original box or other specifically-related items will also be useful. Your insurance company has a thousand different ways of trying reduce the level of payouts on claims, so you have to be one step ahead of them all the time.
Tell The Truth – It can be tempting to embellish on the details of how your ring got lost or stolen, in order to remove any potential vagueness from the claim, but don’t. Insurance companies have seen it all before a million times. They can spot a lie – even a small one – a mile off and, if they do, you could see your claim being rejected.
Lying to enhance a claim is also fraud, and therefore a criminal offence.
Put It In Writing – A phone call is the best way to start the claim process rolling, but more and more insurers are turning to online forms now, instead of printed ones. The problem with this is that there may not be a record of the date of your claim that you can produce if you feel it is taking too long.
Hopefully, if you do make a claim online, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of the claim but, if not, email the insurer’s customer service people and ask them to confirm they received the claim. If you still don’t receive anything, call them and get them to tell you they have it, and when it was received. Make a note of the date and time of any calls you make or receive, as they will certainly have been recorded.
Don’t Be Sentimental – This isn’t a chat with someone about how upset you are at losing your ring, it’s a business transaction, so always stay calm and in control and don’t let emotions get in the way of the claim itself. This is especially important if you feel the valuation is lower than it should be, and a clear head will be better in that discussion than one blinded by sentimentality.
Summary – Your insurance company has handled more claims for lost and stolen items than you could ever imagine, and a percentage of those claims will be fraudulent in some way. Because of that, the insurer knows what to look for and experience has taught them how to minimize the amount they pay out.
The key is being ready for any questions they may have but, if you are speaking to them on a call and don’t have the answer immediately available, say so. The company will be in no rush to pay, and will be happy for you to add a couple of days to the time it takes to process the claim.
Insurance companies are generally honest and will have no problem paying a claim where appropriate, but that doesn’t mean they will do it enthusiastically, so don’t give them reason to delay.