Insuring Family Heirlooms—from Generation to Generation
Some of the most valuable things in life aren’t those that were expensive—they are things that are truly unique. Like the old grandfather clock that sat in your ancestor’s living room to the family ring that has been a part of more weddings than you have, these family heirlooms are the foundation of our own backgrounds and characters, and can be—quite literally—irreplaceable. For that reason alone, you should make sure you are doing what you can to take care of them—including insuring them in case of loss, theft or damage.
What is considered a family heirloom?
While the word “heirloom” brings up ideas of art passed down for generations, or a piece of priceless jewelry, the reality is that an heirloom is anything of value that is passed down from generation to generation. Practically, this means that everything from furniture, clothing, serving ware, textiles and more could be considered an heirloom. As such, any of these things can be worth insuring, if they are valuable enough for your family.
What kind of insurance will I need to insure an heirloom?
There are a few different types of insurance that may cover an heirloom, depending, of course, on what the heirloom is. Homeowners insurance may cover items within the home, but generally will not recognize the inherent value of a specific thing, so typically you will be looking at more specialized policies. Other options are personal property insurance, which focuses coverage on a per-item basis. At Penny Insurance, we offer Valuable Items Insurance, which takes into consideration the value you place on an heirloom item.
When in doubt, it’s best to consult your insurance agent for guidelines on what can be insured and for how much. Even if they won’t cover it, there is a great chance they will know who will.
How do you insure a family heirloom?
Insuring the most precious of items isn’t hard—even though there are a few things you’ll need to do to get everything in order. Here is a step-by-step process for getting your family heirlooms insured.
1. Locate and List
What do you consider a family heirloom? Is it—practically—worth insuring? Do your due diligence and determine what pieces you would like to insure—from artwork to jewelry or even grandma’s vintage recipe book. Once you have compiled all the information you can, you’ll need to find out what it’s generally worth.
2. Get an appraisal
While an appraisal can’t tell you how much you value grandpa’s old watch, it can give you a more complete picture of what you have to insure—the monetary value of the item, how old it is, and maybe even a bit of background information you didn’t have before. All of this information will be vital to have on hand as you meet with your insurance agent.
3. Work with your agent
Once you have all the information in place, schedule a time to sit down with your agent and go over the details of what you want to insure and for how much. They’ll be able to not only walk you through the process and the price, but often may also give you ideas on how to protect the item, or coverage options you should consider.
4. Keep them safe
While it’s great to have Aunt Cindy’s stole insured in case something happens to it, keep in mind that there is no compensation equal to that of losing something that held personal value for you, so you’ll want to make sure you keep your family heirloom as safe as possible. Consider how you will store and care for the item until it’s ready to pass down to someone else—and when you do, let them know how they can go ahead and protect and insure it, as well.
No matter what type of heirloom you want to insure, Penny Insurance is ready to help. Should you have any questions about coverage or insurance types, or if you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.
Most families have items that hold special meaning to them, whether its heirlooms passed down from generation to generation or high-value possessions. When it comes to protecting these prized belongings, safe storage space is key. Art, jewelry, and fine china are a few examples of valuables that need to be stored in special conditions; and to be kept in pristine condition, each of these collectibles require special care.
Some of the best artwork is hidden safely away to preserve the natural beauty of the piece. Art can easily be damaged and the most common risks include tears, smudges, stains, and even fingerprints. To protect your art from the elements over time, minimize direct contact with the piece as much as possible. This may mean storing it away from prying hands and animals or setting up a barrier or protective covering. If you do choose to store it, you have several options to ensure its quality. You can wrap the piece in plastic or place it in a Styrofoam box as both options will keep your art safe from outside contact. Your art’s storage space should be dry and kept at a consistent temperature to promote longevity.
From engagement rings to grandma’s vintage pearls, all of the precious gems, stones, and metals that make up jewelry collections should be cared for accordingly. For pieces you wear every day, you can protect them from tarnishing or wear and tear by placing them in a softly- lined jewelry box. The box’s cushion can prevent scratches from occurring accidentally when the pieces are placed in their secure home. If you own high-value jewelry that is only worn on special occasions, then it needs to be kept in a more secure location. Safes and lockboxes are good options, and they should be placed in hidden locations to keep thieves out.
Fine China is often only used on rare occasions, so that means it can be stored for lengths of time between uses. If this is the case with your fine china, keeping it stored in the right conditions can be the difference between damaged pieces and usable ones. If your china isn’t stored within the safety of a suitable display cabinet, the alternative is to place it in specialty storage bins. These types of bins are available from several major retailers and can ensure your china stays in good condition. The other option would be to use regular storage boxes. If this is the case, your priority should be to wrap all of the china individually and make sure they are placed securely in the box. Labeling the boxes correctly is also a crucial step, as a worst-case scenario could be mishandling a box that is improperly labeled.
Possessions can be considered high-value because of price or sentimental value. Either way, it’s important they are protected in all possible ways, and that includes insuring them. At Penny Insurance Agency, we understand that your high-value assets need to have the proper coverage for your ultimate peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more about our customized plans for valuable items.
HENDERSONVILLE, N.C.—Penny Insurance Agency will now represent Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) Insurance. PURE Insurance focuses exclusively on the high net worth personal lines insurance market.
“Our decision to represent PURE Insurance allows us the opportunity to service another market for high net worth,” Will Penny, President of Penny Insurance Agency, said. “PURE Insurance is the pinnacle of property and casualty insurance for the high net worth marketplace. Being an independent insurance agency, we wanted to offer our clients the best possible options rather than just one company.”
About Penny Insurance Agency
Penny Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency serving Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, specifically Tryon, Hendersonville, Asheville, Landrum, Campobello and Spartanburg and is licensed in multiple states. Founded in 1931 with a mission to provide the very best insurance protection at the most affordable price, Penny Insurance is still serving as a leading independent insurance agency for families and businesses. Contact Penny Insurance Agency at its website or by calling 828-692-9171. Connect with Penny Insurance Agency on Facebook and Twitter.
About PURE Insurance
Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) is a member-owned reciprocal insurer dedicated to creating an exceptional experience for responsible high net worth individuals and families. PURE provides customizable coverage for high-value homes, automobiles, jewelry, art, personal liability, watercraft, flood, fraud and cyber fraud to more than 75,000 responsible, high net worth families throughout the U.S. Inspired by some of the finest policyholder-owned companies, PURE emphasizes alignment of interests and transparency.
PURE’s low cost of capital, careful member selection and proactive risk management all contribute to highly competitive rates. In return for a fee, PURE Risk Management, LLC acts as Attorney-in-Fact for PURE. PURE membership is subject to an executed Subscriber’s Agreement & Power of Attorney. For more information or to find a local broker, visit pureinsurance.com. You can follow PURE on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
>Hiring administrative personnel or domestic staff for your home is one of the most important decisions a successful family must make. These people help ensure that the family can thrive over multiple generations and run smoothly on a day-to-day basis. To mitigate the risks of making the wrong hire, it’s important to establish a plan that includes a strong application, review and interview process. Penny Premier partnered with Chubb Insurance to unearth what should be your focus when interviewing staff for your family. Read more about intricacies of hiring domestic staff here.
The countdown to Christmas is on! The holidays are a magical season in which we can truly enjoy time with our loved ones and make memories. This holiday, you may be planning on gifting a present that is exceptionally high value—that engagement ring she’s been wanting, that laptop he’s been eyeing, or even that sweet new set of wheels to your much deserving loved one. Whatever you are gifting this year, you want to be focused on the joy of giving, not on the safety of your gift. You may want to consider giving yourself the gift of insurance—that is, insuring your high-value holiday presents this year.
Home Owners’ Insurance May Not Cover Your Presents: Home insurance is supposed to cover the items in your home—including presents—in the event of a fire or theft. However, most home owners’ insurance policies are capped and may only cover a portion of your present. If your present is lost to something that is not covered in your home owners’ policy, you may be left with no way to replace it. Review your home owners’ policy with your insurance agent and make sure you fully understand what it does and does not cover over the holiday season.
Get Your Presents Appraised: If something were to happen to your high-value gifts, you’ll want to be able to replace it as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. In order for that to be possible, you must be able to prove the value of the present. We recommend that you get your high-value presents appraised. If you are gifting jewelry, you can go to a licensed jeweler to get a certified appraisal. For other high-value gifts—like a piece of art —you will need to go to a specialist.
Insure Your Assets: Once you get your high-value gifts appraised, meet with your personal insurance agent to discuss what your best options are moving forward. You may determine together that you need to insure that family heirloom you plan on gifting to your girlfriend or that new high-tech gear you’re giving to your child before they head off to college. While you cannot replace the sentimental value of a priceless family heirloom, you can protect its financial value.
Be Wary of Theft: Proactively protect yourself and your assets this holiday season and take measures against theft. The holidays see a spike in burglary so be sure to keep your doors and windows locked and your alarm systems on. If you are going to be out of town for the holidays, do not publicize your plans on social media. If a burglar knows your home is unoccupied, your property becomes a much more enticing target.
The holidays should be a joyful time of year filled with love and the spirit of giving. Eliminate the extra stress of worrying about your high-value presents this Christmas and give us a call today. Our Penny Premier Concierge team has the industry insight and experience necessary to help you determine your best insurance option. At Penny Insurance Agency, your peace of mind is our priority. Happy Holidays to you and yours!
By now, you probably know that valuable items are not fully covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy. Most agents will advise you to purchase valuable items insurance to cover items of significant value – whether they be family heirlooms or recent purchases.
Just as you would cover your car, you can also take a policy out on jewelry! If your jewelry is lost, it would mostly likely not be covered under your normal policy. By purchasing jewelry insurance, you can ensure your valuables are properly covered.
Whether you currently have a policy or you are getting ready to purchase coverage, you should have your jewelry appraised regularly. We suggest at least once every five years – changing market conditions, fluctuation of the credit market, and wavering domestic and foreign currency rates all have an impact on the value of jewelry. The more expensive the item, the more often you should get your appraisal re-evaluated. For all appraisals and evaluations, be sure you are using a professional jeweler with a graduate diamond or gemologist certification. Many insurance providers, like Chubb, can recommend qualified jewelers and appraise within their preferred services networks.
After your jewelry has been appraised, you can line up a policy for your valuables. There are several different options for policies, as well as additional insurance protection to safeguard against price fluctuations. A common misconception is jewelry insurance will be expensive. In fact, these policies are typically only one to two percent of the appraised value, with providers like Chubb offering incentives for jewelry stored in a vault. You can also choose between itemized coverage or blanket coverage depending on your inventory. Your Penny Insurance agent will be able to guide you to what coverage would be best for your valuable items.
Jewelry insurance is a great investment to safeguard your precious pieces. The process to insure pieces is not length and will save you a lot of heartache on the backend. Even with advances in home security technology, all valuables are potentially at risk. While we may not be able to recover your jewelry after it is lost, you will at least have the piece of mind that your investment is safe with jewelry insurance.