Early in 2022, malicious robbers held three Manhattan jewelry store employees up at gunpoint, then made off with $186,000 in jewelry. This spring, a network of thieves made off with 112 gold and diamond rings from New York City’s Diamond District, using umbrellas and cardboard signs to coordinate their efforts.
These examples of organized crime rings and robberies aren’t the only instances of jewelry theft of late. A jewelry store in a mall fell victim to several smash-and-grab thieves, which led to an altercation between the employee and the bandits. And police are currently cautioning the general population that wearing expensive jewelry puts them at increased risk of robbery.
Without proper protection, working in the jewelry industry could be a stressful era. Here’s what you should know about Jewelers Block Coverage and jewelers block coverage exclusions during this time.
A Look at Coverage: What Is Jewelers Block?
So, what all is included in Jewelers Block Coverage—and what is it? The International Risk Management Institute explains it as “inland marine insurance designed to provide coverage for loss of or damage to jewelry that is the stock of jewelry retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and pawnbrokers.”
What Jewelers Block Coverage does is keeps jewelry businesses protected from damage, theft, or other physical loss of precious metals, semi-precious and precious stones, and all other jewelry and related property that’s part of their operation. This would also include property belonging to others, those who have entrusted jewelry professionals to repair, store, or otherwise handle their property. It handles fire, theft, shoplifting, robbery, and similar causes of loss or damage.
But there are some exclusions and limitations to what Jewelers Block Coverage protects. There are often secondary policies available for these concerns to provide additional coverage. These exclusions aren’t limited to:
- Shipping Losses
- Faulty Workmanship
- Mysterious Stock Disappearance
- Damage or Loss of Certain Precious Stones
- Errors in Written Appraisals
- Employee Dishonesty
- Employment Practices and Related Issues
- Digital Fraud and Data Compromise
While Jewelers Block Coverage can be fairly extensive in what’s protected, there are limitations. For these instances, an experienced insurance agency like the Jewelers Insurance Marketplace Agency can help extend your protection with additional policies so that all of these exclusions don’t hinder your business.
What You Must Know About Jewelers Block Coverage
How is your customer’s jewelry covered when in your store?
Jewelers Block coverage protects against physical loss or damage to precious and semi-precious stones, jewels, jewelry, precious metals, and other related property typical to the jewelry trade, including the property of others entrusted to the insured or property of an insured entrusted to others.
Jewelers block is considered an all-risk policy by most insurance companies. That means it includes coverage for the physical loss or damage to jewelry in your care under most circumstances, including theft, robbery, fire, or shoplifting.
Does your policy respond first, or if you have a burglary, do your clients have to pursue their own coverage first and then turn to your insurance policy?
What valuation does your insurance company use when paying your claim?
Most jewelers block insurance policies involve a lengthy application, and the answers will become a warranty once the policy is issued. A full review of the application is needed to determine if there are any misrepresentations because those misrepresentations can cause the insurer to possibly deny the claim or rescind the policy.
The insured will usually be asked to identify the date and amount of their last full physical inventory in the application. This is often crucial information in determining the amount of a loss. Financial statements or tax returns are commonly used to validate the last inventory.
Calculating an inventory loss can be quite complex, and in some cases, a forensic accountant is needed to assist. It is essential that recordkeeping is clean and with no suspicions of fraud so an adjuster can accurately calculate the loss.
Will you be reimbursed for the cost of the item, or could a lower value be used?
A Jewelers Block Coverage policy expects the insured to identify an item’s cost. The normal basis of valuation is the cost of the item, not the replacement cost. It is important to note that there can be a big difference between the initial cost and replacement cost depending on how long the insured has held the item and fluctuating material costs (e.g., price of silver/gold).
Does a Jewelers Block policy cover unexplained missing inventory?
There are certain limits to what your policy will cover if you do not know what happened to your missing inventory. It is important to ask the total limits in such a situation and thoroughly read the details of your policy. At the Jewelers Insurance Marketplace Agency, we can review your coverage for free and check if your policy gives you the protection you need.
Build the Insurance Coverage That Works Best for You
Since 1982, the Jewelers Insurance Marketplace Agency has been supporting jewelers in New York and beyond with the specialized Jewelers Block Coverage they need. We represent several insurance companies and can help jewelers find the right coverage options to match their unique concerns.
That includes our Jewelers Block Insurance Policy, but we don’t stop there. We support our clients with a range of add-on policies to extend coverage to some of the things that Jewelers Block Coverage doesn’t cover, to protect everything from shipping to mysterious stock disappearances, appraisal and gemstone liability, workers’ compensation, commercial packages, coverage for furniture and fixtures, cyber liability insurance, and more. It can even include travel to take pieces to jewelry shows and trade shows.
At Jewelers Insurance Marketplace Agency, we know coverage isn’t just about the jewelers block insurance cost or checking a box on a form. It’s about providing peace of mind that your business is protected when the unimaginable happens—and giving you the confidence needed to run and expand your business.
You can discover more about our jeweler programs here. Reach out to our team today to learn how we can build a customized coverage plan for your specific needs. Contact us via our website or call us at +1 (877) 326-9927 to build the coverage necessary to protect your jewelry business and help you rest easy.