Appraisals: Questions To Ask

gem appraisalFinally, the following are important questions that you should ask your insurance agent. You should print out this page, and refer to it when speaking with your agent.

Is an appraisal necessary for full coverage?

Will my claim — and the replacement value — be more readily accepted if the appraisal has been performed by an AGS jeweler, Certified Gemologist or Certified Gemologist Appraiser?

What is the difference between scheduled and unscheduled coverage?

Is there a deductible? If so, how much? Do I have the option to increase the deductible and thus lower the premium?

Is my policy all-risk (i.e., par loss, damage, mysterious disappearance, etc.)?

Am I still covered if there is negligence or carelessness involved?

Is the item covered if lost, stolen or damaged while in the possession of someone else?
What if only a part is lost, stolen or damaged while in the possession of someone else?

If there is a loss, do I have a choice of a full cash-out or will I have to accept less?

Can I go to whomever I wish for the replacement?

If a loss has been replaced through an insurance company source, will I be allowed to verify proper replacement by an independent firm or accredited appraiser?

Is there a difference in limitation between jewelry and silverware?

Are there any geographical limitations to my coverage?

How much will it cost per thousand for full coverage? Partial? What do I sacrifice for the limitations?

Is depreciation ever imposed? To what and how is it computed?

How often should I have an appraisal update?

Am I limited to the appraised replacement cost should there be a sizable increase in the value?

If there is damage to a piece, can I replace it or will I be limited to repair?

What if the lost item is irreplaceable, like an antique?

Are there any security precautions required? If not, would there be a premium savings if special precautions were taken (e.g., the items were kept in a home safe or in a safety deposit box when not being worn)?

What proof is needed to justify a claim?

Are there different kinds of jewelry insurance available?

Are there any exclusions?

What is the pair and set clause? Will the insurance cover an additional amount for matching a missing item in a set if it hasn’t been computed and stated?

What types of property are not covered?

Will you show me the actual language in the policy which addresses each concern I’ve expressed?

These questions were prepared for your use by the American Gem Society’s Appraisals Committee, and were originally published in the Society’s Handbook of Jewelry and Gemstone Appraising. Consult your AGS Jeweler for your jewelry and appraisals needs.

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