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Insurance Question - Burgled!

Posted by chisue (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 8, 07 at 11:20

I don't know where else to post this. Hoping someone has been through this and has advice.

We were burgled last week. Only jewlery was taken. We were not home. We don't know how the thief got in; house was locked. Police say there have been several similar incidents in our town recently.

Our insurance is with State Farm. One piece of jewelry was covered under our Personal Articles policy, and I've already gotten a check for that.

Our Homeowner's has a $8,000 deductible and a $2500 max option for jewelry. Based on some 1990 appraisals, our loss is about $16,000 (not including what we've collected on the single article).

The Bloomington claims office tells me my claim is $16K minus $8K = $8K, period. They said they'd consider my claim based on what I'd PAID, not the appraised values. (I no longer have proof of payment for these items.)

My local agent had said my claim would be $8K PLUS $2500 under the jewelry option.

I'm thinking I should take the 1990 appraisals to an appraiser to get a 2007 value before I file. It doesn't sound right that the value would not be the CURRENT value, not what I may have paid.

Questions are: How is the value determined? Does the jewelry option get added on top? Or, is $2500 the max I can claim for jewelry? (In that case I wouldn't bother getting re-appraisals.)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

Chisue,
So sorry to hear that this happened to you! Does your policy say anything about 'replacement value'? On ours we have $1000 of jewelry coverage plus my 'scheduled' pieces. We were told that our claim would be limited to the purchase price of the piece - which we had to document UNLESS we had an appraisal-then we would be be reimbursed for up to the amount of the appraisal to replace the pieces. So I got appraisals. One item for example appraised at 'retail' for $7400, we actually paid about $3500 total for that piece. Part of it was bought many years ago and part recently so the cost was very different than the appraisal. I should be able to replace it easily for $7400 though. On our policy I would have to have the pieces reappraised, update the schedule and pay additional premiums to cover a higher value. Your policy sounds different though, ours would not cover 16k worth of jewelry unless it was scheduled. If you were to get the jewelry reappraised-by updating the old appraisals-and could show a value higher than 16k I would think the insurance co. would have to give you more-the $2500 jewelry allowance, and the balance of the loss less the $8k deductible. Maybe you need to go over that policy with a fine tooth comb *and* if my agent gave me information I would make sure that the company would stand by that. Good Luck!


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

Thanks, luckymom23. I'm going to re-contact our local agent Monday to see if we can sort this out before I go to the expense of getting updated appraisals on not only what went missing but what remains in the vault and is unscheduled.

I do plan to update appraisals on my scheduled items (now minus the stolen necklace).

The last time I "lost" anything it was a raincoat stolen from the student union when I was in college. Felt nasty then; feels nastier when you know someone's been in you house to steal from you.

Does anyone know if there is some sort of registry for jewelry reported stolen that gets circulated to pawn shops and jewelers? The local police were vague about that. These are all custom pieces, irreplaceable -- also easily identified (if they're not broken up and melted down).


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

Chisue, Sorry that this happened to you - it sure stinks! We were burglarized in St. Paul, MN in 1998 and the worst of our loss was also jewelry. At that time, and in that city, the police did fax reports daily to the local pawn shops of stolen jewelry. The police also checked in with the pawn shops. One of my pieces did get presented at a pawn shop but the shop turned it down - they didn't have a good feeling about it but never checked the list. This piece was unique as well but the police didn't find out about it until they were there on a routine visit. So, while the pawn shops get lists of stolen items, I'm not sure how closely they look at them. That was MN, anyway.

We were told then that in this day of technology, many times stolen jewelry ends up on ebay. The burglars wait for a few months to pass and then list the stuff. Or they drive across state lines and pawn items in a completely different locale.

I had current appraisals at the time so I did get current value from State Farm. I never got any of our items back. Quite honestly, I wouldn't hold out hope if I were you.


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

I Googled and found this site: www.stolenjewelry.org It's a jewelry industry's website. I *think* I registered, but have sent a personal email to be sure; site isn't the most user-friendly for an individual. It's only been in existence for about a year.

Thanks, all, for your kind words. This could have been much worse than it was. I'm still MAD though!


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

"We were burgled last week. Only jewlery was taken. We were not home. We don't know how the thief got in; house was locked. Police say there have been several similar incidents in our town recently."

I'm sorry for your loss. I hope the police catch these thieves. Does your neighborhood have a block watch? Might be a good idea to install one or two motion activated cameras so you can see who is coming and going.

"Lightning does strike twice. If you're unlucky enough to have been robbed once, you are at even higher risk in the future. Whatever attracted the thief the first time around: "curb appeal," inside info, isolation, etc., probably still exists after the crime. What's worse, once the burglar has robbed you, he knows the layout of your home. It's not uncommon for burglars to wait until you've replaced your things, and then rob you again."

A link that might be useful:

www.urbachletter.com/Archive/Safety_0211_BurglaryPrevention.htm


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

Hi Sue...found it.

Your policy will pay a max of $2500 period. There are several types of "contents" that have limited coverage...unless you "schedule" them. Scheduling involves getting appraisals...usually within 3 years old...and adding them as a rider with a fee. With me that fee for jewelry is $16/thousand (ie; $10K Ring= $160 in additional premium per year). Jewelry is the biggy, but furs, guns, fine art, silverware, etc. are also limited. Most companies will allow you to schedule those items, but there will be a fee.

The problem I think your having is confusing how your everyday items...TV's, clothes, furniture, etc...are covered and how these specialty items are covered. Your TV, if stolen would get replaced with the same make and model at todays prices...AS LONG AS YOU REPLACE THAT ITEM. They WILL NOT give you cash for the replacement value. What they do is cut you a check for the depreciated value up front, then give you the balance once you replace that item and show proof of purchase.

Jewelry however, is a completely different animal. As I said it's basic coverage is very limited on all policies. It can always be expanded for a fee and I always recommend that for valuable pieces.

And yes, they'd only consider $8k, not $16k. Don't let that confuse you, they said they'd CONSIDER $8k, not pay $8k. Based on what you're telling me, they're only paying $2500.


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

my take onit is that you will get a check for 2500, plus the amount of the scheduled item. this is how SF explained it to me when we were trying to decide if we wanted to get riders for certain things we have. Since we don't have any valuable jewelry other than our wedding rings, the onyl thing i got a rider on was my firearms. though to tell you the truth most all of them were my grandfathers or great-grandfathers so they could never be replaced nor would they be worth much at depreciated values.


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

Today I spoke with our SF agent. He is going to check with Bloomington but believes the $2500 is the max I can collect. Since two of the non-scheduled articles were once appraised and scheduled for a total of $3200, I'm expecting to get the full $2500. (I de-listed these because they were usually kept in the vault; unfortunately they were at home when we were hit.)

I've just learned that at one of the other homes hit, the owner had just removed a LOT of jewelry from the vault in preparation for a wedding. I guess my $16,000 loss and her much larger one will result in the same $2500 claims payouts unless her stuff was scheduled. Lesson: If you want it covered, schedule it.

I've also discovered that the police report listing of articles stolen goes...nowhere. Sits in their files! I'd hoped there would be a central registry or at least that these would get sent out to area pawnbrokers.

A friend on the Chicago force says some pawn shops submit to the police weekly reports on what they've taken in. Evidently not done in my town. He said one pawnbroker broke a ring when he reported that the same cleaning women were coming in with expensive jewelry. Seems each would lift just one article from her cleaning job from time to time for pawn. At least those people got their jewelry back!


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

Scheduling jewelry does one other thing that I forgot to mention. It expands coverage to something we call "mysterious disspearance". Basically, if you lose the piece, or even just a stone, the item is covered. I actually had a client whose stone cracked in the setting...we paid for it.


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

Sorry but it sounds fishy to me and I am sure it sounds fishy to State Farm too.

Someone got in your home but you and the police have no idea how? A thief got in and out with no sign of entry and only took insured jewelry?

I would look more at your recent guests.


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

The fact that someone else nearby also just got robbed of jewelry that was recently removed from a vault sends up a red flag. Maybe someone at the vault is tipping the burglar that there may be good stuff to be had at certain people's homes. Unfortunately, the cops are rarely actyally interested in investigating links like this. Maybe you should get a new safe-deposit box somewhere else.

"Lightning does strike twice. If you're unlucky enough to have been robbed once, you are at even higher risk in the future."

This is quite true. I was burgled twice--both times in the weeks before Christmas--by the downstairs neighbor son looking for holiday gifts/cash. After the first time I put up a gate on the window; the second time he brought a screwdriver and removed it. (I was on the top floor and the next bldg was one floor shorter, so he had lots of access and privacy). After the second time I moved.

Since the cops don't send out notices of stolen items, maybe you should do so yourself. Do you have pictures of the pieces? why not send them to all the jewelers/pawnbrokers in the phone book?


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RE: Insurance Question - Burgled!

The police say this happens Spring and Fall. This isn't a guest or neighbor, but a thief or thieves who look for likely houses where they would not be visible while they find either an open door/window, or an easily-picked lock. I believe six homes in my town were hit -- always on Tuesdays or Thursdays, always mid-day, always at a house secluded from the street or other neighbors. Now the next town south of us is starting to see the same thing; they've evidently moved on. Gypsies?

The woman who lost vault-stored jewelry left her door unlocked. My vault-stored items had been at home for a month. I think the thief knows there will be "something" of value in any of these houses and just happened to hit the jackpot at her house! This is a north shore Chicago suburb -- leafy and quiet -- people get careless. It's possible we were hit while DH left our garage door up while walking our dog and I was in the (noisy) airtub. (Not a thought I want to linger over.)


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