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Last updateWed, 22 Feb 2017 10am
Big idea for little diamonds

Big idea for little diamonds

HH Gold turns retailers’ melee into by-the-inch cr...

Retailer Roundtable: Is the bead trend over?

Retailer Roundtable: Is the bead trend over?

Q: Is the bead trend over?

“The bead trend is defin...

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

The Southern Jewelers Guild takes a look at the exp...

Gemstone wholesaler Tim Roark mixes business with friendships across the globe

Gemstone wholesaler Tim Roark mixes business with friendships across the globe

Tim Roark hadn’t traveled a lot as a child, but he...

Other News

How a group of retirees pulled off the biggest jewelry heist in British history

How a group of retirees pulled off the biggest jewelry heist in British history

They pried open the elevator doors to the open shaft. Then one or more of them dropped down to the basement.

The audacious April 2015 ransacking of safe-deposit boxes in Hatton Garden, London’s jewelry district, was epic. So much cash, jewelry, and ot...

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Industry Events

First 2017 JIS Show leaves attendees confident about the year ahead

First 2017 JIS Show leaves attendees confident about the year ahead

JIS deems 1st of two shows at temporary Fort Lauderdale location a success

(NORWALK, Conn.) - The JIS January 2017 Show concluded on January 29th at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center for its first show of 2017 and its first of two shows being held ...

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On The Move

Noble Display and Packaging merges with J. Grant & Co.

Noble Display and Packaging merges with J. Grant & Co.

Noble Group brings greater service, products, pricing for independent jewelers

(CEDAR GROVE, N.J.) - Noble Display and Packaging has announced the completion of its merger with J. Grant & Co., a display and packaging company known for designing and...

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What's New

Zimbals expands wholesale pre-owned Rolex Watch Program

Zimbals expands wholesale pre-owned Rolex Watch Program

New SwissWatchServiceCenter.com site exclusively for Rolex repair

(TAMPA, Fla.) - Since 1990, the experts at Zimbals have been dedicated to the sales and service of pre-owned Rolex watches. You may know them by their wholesale-only website, SwissWatchP...

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Featured Articles

Retailer Roundtable: How was your Christmas season and what were your hot sellers?

Retailer Roundtable: How was your Christmas season and what were your hot sellers?

Q: How was your Christmas season and what were your hot sellers?  

“The actual numbers are still being tabulated, but what I can say is the numbers are close to 10 percent over last year’s holiday season. Which was quite a surprise as the months and we...

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Latest News

How a group of retirees pulled off the biggest jewelry heist in British history

1 DAY AGO
How a group of retirees pulled off the biggest jewelry heist in British history

They pried open the elevator doors to the open shaft. Then one or more of them dropped down to the basement.

The audacious April 2015 ransacking of safe-deposit boxes in Hatton Garden, London’s jewelry district, was epic. So much cash, jewelry, and other valuables had been taken that the loot had bee...

Readmore

Printing up compassion in 3D

9 DAYS AGO
Printing up compassion in 3D

There is no remedy to cure the tragic hurt caused by the loss of a child. For a grieving parent, the best one can hope for is time to process the pain and a few happy memories. Time comes easy, but for parents of stillborn children, happy memories are often in short order.

Srdjan Urosev hopes his com...

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First 2017 JIS Show leaves attendees confident about the year ahead

1 DAY AGO
First 2017 JIS Show leaves attendees confident about the year ahead

JIS deems 1st of two shows at temporary Fort Lauderdale location a success

(NORWALK, Conn.) - The JIS January 2017 Show concluded on January 29th at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center for its first show of 2017 and its first of two shows being held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. JIS reports the Show ...

Readmore

Registration open for 2017 Santa Fe Symposium

1 DAY AGO
Registration open for 2017 Santa Fe Symposium

Premier conference for jewelry makers and educators

Registration is now open for the 2017 Santa Fe Symposium®. This year’s Symposium will be held in Albuquerque, N.M. from May 21–24.

“There is one reason I attend the Santa Fe Symposium year after year without fail: I learn more there than I do through...

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Noble Display and Packaging merges with J. Grant & Co.

9 DAYS AGO
Noble Display and Packaging merges with J. Grant & Co.

Noble Group brings greater service, products, pricing for independent jewelers

(CEDAR GROVE, N.J.) - Noble Display and Packaging has announced the completion of its merger with J. Grant & Co., a display and packaging company known for designing and manufacturing Ice Grip displays, modular Breakawa...

Readmore

RDI Diamonds achieves Responsible Jewelry Council certification

15 DAYS AGO
RDI Diamonds achieves Responsible Jewelry Council certification

(LONDON) - The Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC) has announced that RDI Diamonds, Inc. has achieved Certification against the 2013 Code of Practices (COP) at its trading office in New York.

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Zimbals expands wholesale pre-owned Rolex Watch Program

1 DAY AGO
Zimbals expands wholesale pre-owned Rolex Watch Program

New SwissWatchServiceCenter.com site exclusively for Rolex repair

(TAMPA, Fla.) - Since 1990, the experts at Zimbals have been dedicated to the sales and service of pre-owned Rolex watches. You may know them by their wholesale-only website, SwissWatchPricing.com, or from their book, “The Professional’...

Readmore

ASHI introduces Lovebright - The new halo engagement ring

1 DAY AGO
ASHI introduces Lovebright - The new halo engagement ring

Surveys have show that diamond halo engagement rings make up nearly 50% of all new bridal sales today. “​This is the perfect time to introduce and showcase the beauty and value of a Lovebright halo engagement ring to your customers,” says Rajeev Pandya, partner at Ashi Diamonds. ASHI’s Lovebright br...

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Setting Limits

Insuring a jewelry store: Determining the type of insurance to buy - and how much

The type of insurance

Jeweler Rhoda Lyte opened her new jewelry store and for insurance, called on a friend who sold property and casualty insurance. About the only information the agent needed in order to put the policy in force was the name and address of the store, the building construction, and the limit of coverage Rhoda wished to carry. Rhoda explained to the agent that she needed $250,000 - figuring $50,000 for her fixtures and general contents and $200,000 for her jewelry inventory.

Rhoda was pleased with the policy. For an affordable premium, she had all of her contents covered at replacement cost for a broad range of perils ("all risk") with a modest $500 deductible, plus $1,000,000 general liability, and even loss of earnings insurance.

Then subsequent to the coverage being placed in force, burglars compromised Rhoda's alarm system, broke into the store through the roof, and with the alarm system down, wheeled the safe out the back door.

Rhoda's loss was all of her $200,000 inventory, $30,000 of customer's property that was in her custody, $10,000 in diamonds that were on memo to the store from a vendor, and $5,000 for her safe - totaling $245,000. Under Rhoda's lease, the costs of repairing the roof and the back door were the landlord's responsibility and were claimed on the building insurance policy. Rhoda was just thankful that her policy limit of $250,000 would be enough to cover her part of the loss.

When Rhoda received her settlement check, the amount was $7,000. "When do I get the rest of it?" was her question to the agent.

"There isn't any more - this is all the company is paying for the loss."

It was then that Rhoda learned of a limitation clause which is standard in general business insurance policies. The clause stated in clear language that where theft of jewelry was concerned, the company would be liable for no more than $2,500. Rhoda had received that amount plus $5,000 for her stolen safe - the only property stolen that was not "jewelry," less her $500 deductible.

"What about my customers' property - and the diamonds that I had on memo? Doesn't the policy give me special coverage for other people's property?" The policy did have some coverage for property of others, but the jewelry limitation superseded all other aspects of the policy. $2,500 was all that would be paid for jewelry, regardless of whom it belonged to.

Rhoda was not only out of business, but left in significant debt to her customers, her vendor - and her bank. She had purchased the wrong kind of insurance.

The agent explained that he had sold this type of policy to dozens of businesses, and the jewelry question had just never come up before - he didn't know the jewelry limitation clause was there.

The limit of coverage

Alexander Wright opened a jewelry store similar to the one that Rhoda Lyte owned. But unlike Rhoda, Alexander knew to ask for a Jewelers Block policy; he had been told that a standard business insurance policy would not meet the needs of a jewelry business.

Alexander's agent had not written Jewelers Block insurance before, but he had obtained an application from another insurance broker and he gave it to Alex to complete. There were questions about Alex's safe, and the store's alarm system - which Alex answered to the best of his ability.

An inventory figure was requested on the form and Alex entered $200,000 - the amount of inventory he expected to have on opening day. A limit of coverage blank was also on the form, and $200,000 was entered there also since that was what the inventory would be.

There was a question about customers' property; to be certain that customers would be well protected, Alex entered $75,000 - the most that was expected to ever be in the repair box at one time. A figure of $15,000 was entered in answer to a question about memo and consignment merchandise -- enough to cover bringing in a few diamonds to show to a customer.

After being in business for several months, Alex had a robbery. With Alex and his assistant tied up on the floor and the doors locked, the gunmen were committed to take all that they could. And so they took the merchandise out of all of the showcases, cleaned out the safe, and took the repair box.

Alex's inventory had increased a bit since opening day, to $215,000 - all of which had been stolen in the robbery. The customer's property totaled $25,000 (thankfully there were separate records with customers' own estimates of value), and $10,000 in memo diamonds were stolen. The total loss was $250,000.

The insurance policy paid $199,000 for the loss - the policy limit of $200,000 less $1,000 deductible. The figures for customers' property and memo merchandise that Alex had thought he was asking separate coverage for, were average exposure questions. By not understanding the form fully, Alex had requested $200,000 as a total limit for inventory, customers' goods, and memo merchandise.

So two instances of jewelers not getting what they thought they were buying by way of insurance. One might be tempted to conclude that, no matter what a jeweler does, insurance companies never pay off fairly. But the lessons to be learned are from Rhoda's and Alex's own different mistakes - which are not uncommon among jewelers starting out in business.

Rhoda's mistake was in assuming that a jewelry business could be insured the same as most businesses, and that all she needed was a standard package policy, which almost any agent could write.

Alex knew what kind of insurance he needed, but he didn't know where to go for it. The agent he went to gave Alex the responsibility of completing the Jewelers Block application rather than completing it himself with Alex's input. The application is complex, and Alex misinterpreted some of the questions and provided incorrect information - the most critical being the limit of coverage.

So let's take one more crack at this situation and see if we can end on a happier note.

Jules Galore was planning to open a jewelry store for the first time. But having been in the jewelry business for a number of years, he had several friends in the industry to whom he could go for ideas and advice. One of the things he already knew was that he would need special insurance, and he asked his contacts who they recommended he talk to about insurance.

As a result, Jules was able to find someone who had experience in insuring jewelers and was familiar with both the policy and the application. Rather than send Jules a complicated form to complete, the agent met with the jeweler to complete the application for him. Additionally, the agent was able to give Jules valuable advice concerning his safe and his alarm system - to help Jules be certain that minimum insurance standards were being met.

A Jewelers Block policy was put in force with a solid carrier, with an appropriate limit of coverage for inventory, customers' property, and memo merchandise. And when Jules had a loss, because the policy had been written correctly, the insurance company could pay it and Jules could continue in business.

Rhoda's lesson: for a jewelry business, standard insurance won't fill the bill.

Alex's lesson: the right type of insurance still may not be good enough if it isn't correctly written.

Jules' lesson: the right kind of insurance, combined with a good carrier and an insurance agent who is experienced in writing jewelers' insurance and capable of being a part of the "management team" of the business, can make the critical difference when there is a loss.

P.S. Congratulations to all of the staff of Southern Jewelry/Mid-America Jewelry News for 20 years of producing a journal for the jewelry trade that is always relevant, eye-opening, and a pleasure to read. I'm honored to have been a part of your team for all of that time and it is indeed a pleasure to see how you have grown and where you are today.

Bob Carroll of Robert G. Carroll and Associates is a Certified Insurance Counselor who has been insuring members of the jewelry industry for more than a quarter of a century - representing Jewelers Mutual and other carriers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Mississippi. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 


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