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How To Insure Your Wares – Gold, Silver, Pewter And More
You might have your own reasons to keep these wares in stock that your friends can never understand.
Keeping things like gold in the home is one of the oldest methods of preserving wealth passed down over generations. The reasoning which is difficult to argues against is that they will never disappear and always retain a reasonable fair value.
Even the stock market believes in this assumption as we can always observe precious metal being bought up when there is uncertainty.
When you keep them at home, the problem is that your homeowners insurance have a dollar limit on theft. And this limit will cover all items like gold, silver and pewter. Even items you never thought of can fall under this coverage.
If we are just talking about plated wares, the policy limit is usually sufficient.
But you will find that it is grossly inadequate when your wares include solid gold, sterling silver, or solid pewter.
Check your policy to learn the details that apply to you.
The most common way to protect these items is to schedule them. Insurance agents will also probably recommend this method.
Scheduling is basically getting a qualified appraiser to determine a value to your valuables and get a limit set for each individual item. This is frequently done for insuring valuable jewelry or artwork.
The problem with this method is that precious metal values can be very volatile.
This means that if they increase in value, your coverage limit may not be enough to cover their real market value.
If they fall in value, they are basically over-insured. I don’t know about you. But over coverage sounds like a real turn-off. Why pay a premium for a $5,000 coverage when the most you can get for them is $4,000.
Get my point?
If you decide to get an appraiser to go for the scheduling route, you can often save money from a real appraiser. A dealer or a pawn shop usually have experts who can give a fair value. Their expertise is recognized and can be accepted by insurers.
Because their value is often determined by weight, there is little else to worry about loss other than theft and fire. As you might already know, fire is fully covered by your homeowner’s policy. And unlike fine jewelry, wares don’t need to have authenticity verified or have to be examined under a powerful microscope.
This means that the main concern is loss due to theft.
Of course you can go ahead and schedule your items. But if you are following what I have mentioned above, you might see the limitations. You might even question is you need extra insurance for them in the first place.
The fact is that these wares are not something that we carry around with us everyday. Collectors usually just accumulate them and chunk them the in closet, basement, attic, or under the bed.
Even when burglars enter a house uninvited, they usually look for cash and often don’t recognize the value of your silvers when they see them. Hiding them is already a very good way to protect them from harm. You can consider installing an alarm system for good measure.
But if you are someone who is so proud of your collection that you display them openly in your living room with spotlights shining down on them in a glass casing, you probably should insure them.
Get a qualified person to appraise it’s value and raise the theft coverage limit up to the value you are comfortable with. That is all you need to do.
If you really have no emotional attachment to your items and will willingly accept replacements, you are already well off with the coverage already in place.
Assuming that you really choose to forgo scheduling, the biggest concern right now is being able to prove to adjusters how much your wares are worth at claim time. But don’t worry, you can take some simple steps to put yourself in the best position.
- Get an appraiser to document the value of your items. They should state clearly the value and the authenticity that they are real gold, silver, or pewter.
- Take videos and photographs of your items. Then attach descriptions to them clearly indicating their patterns and the name of the manufacturers.
- Keep these documentations in a safe place preferably in another safe location together with a piece of the items. This is to prove as a sample of what you have in possession.
When it comes to claims, it is not about who is the better negotiator or presenter. These things don’t have much weight in terms of proof and evidence.
You need to document everything to prevent prolonged disputes that leave you hanging. You need to keep this in mind when dealing with insurance.
Negligence is something that can really punish you when trying to get a claim.
If you have a number of unique items with varying value, you might also want to consider applying a different strategy for each item. Only you know what you have. So take a good look at them and decide the best course of action.