ring—well, maybe your second after say-
ing “yes!”—should be to call your insur-
Certainly where contents are involved,
Enservio’s data demonstrates that bur-
glary claims are increasing in both fre-
quency and value, as the average claim
now tops $4,000.
Jewelry is still a category leader, with
rings being the most claimed item. Looking at Enservio’s data for 2013 alone, more
than 46,000 types of rings were identified
by insureds. Everything from 10 karat
gold high school class rings to ruby rings
with 20 points of set diamonds, these fine
items represented a replacement cost value (RCV) of $64.8 million.
For policyholders who have collected a
drawer of jewelry from Valentines past, it
can be a challenge to know whether ev-
ery single piece is covered by a property
policy for its current value. The TV show
Antiques Roadshow gives viewers a classic
case of ‘perceived values.’ When it comes
to assigning value to an item, in many
cases the policyholder’s perspective does
not align with that of the professional ap-
praiser’s. Thus, a disparity exists between
perceived value and actual value.
To ensure that jewelry items receive
their proper RCV, policyholders are typically advised, perhaps via an agent, to
begin establishing a catalog of what items
are in the home. Taking the time to inventory and record exactly what is at stake,
and even adding photographs for special
valuable pieces, is probably the best step
policyholders can take to protect their
valuable assets. This, in turn, will help facilitate smooth insurance settlements.
Questionable Claims Values
But what about protecting insurers
from questionable claims values? Drawing once again from Enservio data, insurance claims for burglary losses spike
during the holidays, tax time, and back-to-school season (Dec., April and Sept.).
For category leaders such as jewelry, apparel, and electronics, settlements are often paid at more than twice the average
retail value of the stolen item. We have
also seen burglary claims jump 15 percent in volume over a three-year period.
Looking again at the jewelry category,
2013 data shows the average claim for
rings is about $1,400. Yet, the approximated average retail price for a ring is
Although the NRF reports that total spending on Valentine’s Day 2014 is
expected to reach $17.3 billion, when it
comes to questionable claims, the cost to
insurers is not so sweet.
Christine Washburn is the senior
VP of marketing for Enservio, which
offers software and services across
the value chain of contents claims
processing. Washburn may be reached at
In 2013, rings filed by
claimants produced a RCV
of $64.8 million.