Insurance appraisals are by far, the most asked-for service. The purpose of this document is to obtain insurance coverage on your homeowner’s or renter’s policy or in lieu thereof, with an independent insurer of jewelry. The appraisal is written for retail replacement value of an item should it become lost or stolen. It is the written description of an item in which the insurance company and its underwriters will use to determine the premium and amount of insurance needed, depending on the terms. Make sure you know what your policy covers.
The appraisal must provide enough description and information for the insurance company to be able to replace with an identical item or if that is not possible, in like kind. The value is usually the current market price which is the most frequent value found in the appropriate market within the geographical area.
Insurance companies vary on their replacement policies. Ask your particular company how they handle losses. In most cases, they will replace an item for no more than the real replacement cost, regardless of the value on the appraisal document. You want to have these values up to date on your policy but not unreasonably high, otherwise, you will be paying for coverage that you will never recoup. The exception to this rule of thumb is with branded or designer pieces. Even though, in many cases a piece of jewelry could be duplicated for less by a non-name brand, to replace in like kind, you must have the current retail selling price of the brand. If you haven’t had your jewelry appraised within the last three to five years, it is time!