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Time for an Insurance Check-up

  1. trackpad

    trackpad May 17, 2019

    Note: This will take less than 30 minutes and it could easily save you thousands of dollars. If you're a hot-head it might even save your life – or save you from doing something stupid that could put your life at risk.


    This thread (and this IG <- just read some of these stories) had me reflecting on my current risk level and exposure, especially as I get ready to move from a country with almost no crime (especially residential break-ins) to one with much more burglary and petty crime, unfortunately.

    So I picked up the phone and called my insurance company. Explained my hobby, got specific about dollar amounts, and went through different scenarios.

    Scenarios like, someone breaks into my house and takes everything. Or, I'm on my way home late at night and someone puts a knife to my chest, etc. etc.

    I got a quote on a new policy that is, well, incredible and puts me completely at ease. And having dealt with this particular insurance company in the past, I know how good they are at actually paying out and following through with no fine-print gotchas or other BS.

    Find out what your current level of coverage offers. And if you don't like it, call around and compare it to what others offer. As someone who owns watches, these are the sorts of questions you need to ask re: your policy in addition to the obvious ones (such as the deductible).


    * Do I need to document and register valuable items in advance?

    * Do you make any distinction between coverage of watches made of precious metals v. watches made of steel (mine does)

    * Do they have a per item value limit for the purposes of reimbursement?

    * What about accidental damage? Flood and fire damage?

    * Does it cover just items in my house or also on my person when out and about?

    * Does it cover items not in my house or on my person? (e.g. in a friend's car, or in a locker at the gym)

    * All the same above questions / scenarios – but when traveling outside of my home country.


    ^ If you think of any questions to add to this post below and I'll add them.

    The point is be sure you're insured. And just as importantly, know when you're going into a situation where you are definitely not insured.

    For ex. knowing they don't cover a break-in to your gym locker may have you re-consider bringing that $35K dollar Rolex with you. The one everyone saw you walk in with only to leave behind a file cabinet wafer-lock any screw-driver can open ...and where there are zero security cameras. :unsure:

    It could also save your life in the sense that knowing you are well and fully covered could make the difference between trying to resist v. fully cooperating. I've never been robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint so I don't know how I would react. I'm pretty sure I would fully comply. But knowing someone was walking away with tens of thousands of dollars that I couldn't get back might also encourage a really bad decision, ...especially if they were physically weaker and I saw what looked like an opportunity. I'm just not sure.

    Long story long – I can almost guarantee that if you don't do your homework beforehand you won't like the outcome later when you make that first call to your insurance company after the fact.

    Know where you stand, and improve that standing now if you can afford to.
    Edited May 17, 2019
    byunjoe, Uniqez, kov and 11 others like this.
  2. Larry S

    Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. May 17, 2019

    trackpad likes this.
  3. davidher

    davidher May 17, 2019

    Thanks for this information, I have been meaning to get in touch with my home insurer regarding my watches
  4. rcs914

    rcs914 May 17, 2019

    USAA I assume? ;)
    MikiJ likes this.
  5. asrnj77

    asrnj77 May 17, 2019

    How is your company in vintage watches? Do you need a third party appraiser? Do you have agreed upon value or some other way to determine value? My current policy wanted sales documents from when I bought it. Of course if I got a really good deal I’d only get the back in return not the actual amount it would cost to replace the watch.
  6. MikiJ

    MikiJ Likes songs about Purple spices May 17, 2019

    Other than Chubb, the best and most expensive, I have found USAA the best of the rest.
    trackpad and KeithS like this.
  7. Walrus

    Walrus May 17, 2019

    Insurance rider right? They are cheap as the insurance companies know the risk and add in fraud. They are great until you need to use them. Fifteen years in a house no issues paid them god knows how much, put in one claim for a damaged bacement and once completed I was dropped and had refusals on insurance because I had one claim. I’m sorry it’s probably a great idea I just hate how insurance companies are all friendly when you buy then evil when you need it. What a racket
    superfly likes this.
  8. Evitzee

    Evitzee May 17, 2019

    In America we tend to over insure things. Having insurance on your life, house and car are absolutely needed. Umbrella insurance, maybe. But insuring everything in your four walls for every potential loss is probably not needed, and expensive and a hassle to boot. It depends on where you live and your circumstances, but insurance is supposed to cover catastrophic losses that could really impact your lifestyle and finances. If your Rolex is swiped that is unfortunate but will not affect your lifestyle or put you on the street. Anyway, everybody's tolerance for risk is different. If I'm going to the local ACE hardware for some nuts and bolts in my rural town of 11,000 people I'm not worried about wearing an expensive watch, if I'm going into the big city of 2 million for dinner and a concert and having to park in a downtown garage, the expensive stuff stays home. If confronted by a robber in the garage they can have everything I have, it won't be of priceless value. Common sense and an 8x10 safe deposit box at my local bank has worked for me. To each their own.
    Edited May 17, 2019
    JohnnyRocket likes this.
  9. trackpad

    trackpad May 21, 2019

    They are good. I didn’t have to make many tweaks to their standard policy to feel comfortable. Here is how it works.

    Watches, jewelry, art, lamps, laptops, TVs… all objects of value are covered under normal home owner’s insurance (in Danish it's called “indboforsikring”). Premiums are calculated based on your level of insurance or coverage level, which they sell in reasonable increments. You would want a level of coverage that would more-or-less cover the value of everything inside your home – or what it would cost to replace all of your furnishings and valuables if your home or building burned to the ground and nothing could be saved. So far so good.

    Coverage is for replacing all items at the current FMV, not the original purchase price. So any eventual appreciation in price for art, lamps, watches etc will be recognized. Better still, there isn’t any maximum value for reimbursement on a per item or category basis, which a lot of insurance companies have (in the very, very fine print). This is probably the single biggest "gotcha" an insurance company will employ.

    There is a carve-out in the policy for watches and jewelry made of precious stones and metals ...where items in this category can only be insured up to a certain % of the total coverage. But it’s a pretty high %. Higher than I would need. And if you need it to be higher just up the level of your total coverage and your coverage for those items (and your premium!) will go up accordingly.

    But interestingly, watches made of steel are not included in the carve out, and are pooled together with other contents up to your total insured value. And are therefore not limited by any max value on a per item or per category basis and are, again, insured at the current FMV with appreciation and not the original purchase price.

    For vintage collectors mostly into steel, this couldn’t be better given the current market. But of course could work against your favor in a down market.

    My company doesn't need to see a formal appraisal (though it’s probably always a good idea) and nothing needs to be registered with them in advance. They will only want to see a police report and some proof of purchase – meaning the original receipt if you bought it new, or a screenshot of the wire transfer and the FS listing if you bought it used. Photos, tracking numbers and emails/PM’s documenting the transaction would probably help but aren’t required. You will also need to document a replacement value upon filing the claim. (Finally a good use for C24! :rolleyes:)

    (Detour: I'm sure I'm far from the only one doing something like this, but I keep a folder in my Dropbox for every watch I own. It contains a PDF of the original FS listing, original photos at the highest resolution, and any relevant communication re: the purchase all in one central location. And I'll add a little to it over time. For example, ...the screen shot documenting the wire transfer I normally send to a seller so he can comfortably flag the listing OHPF, I will drop that in the same folder. And I will add a wrist shot once or twice a year just to document possession over time via the date stamp in the EXIF of the image. In this way, should it all go pear-shaped, I don't have any extra steps I need to take to document anything for insurance purposes beyond what I'm already doing. As a bonus, the folder is also synced to a location that will be available to my wife upon my death – but not before! There is also a README.txt file containing notes on service and condition relevant in a sale, plus the names and email addresses of watch friends she can trust to help her get rid of these at something close to FMV)

    All of this coverage extends to your person if you’re mugged or robbed anywhere in the country outside of your house, where an item from your house (i.e. a watch) is taken. So the objects from your home don’t have to be IN your home to be covered. I think is standard for most Danish home owners' insurances ...but I don't know how it's done in other parts of the world or in the U.S. and I would be interested to hear.

    The yearly premium for roughly 300.000 USD worth of incident coverage is less than 500 USD per year, and includes a 4 year extended warranty on electronics (and watches!) against accidental damage. Knowing their reputation and having dealt with them before, I didn’t even bother comparing prices and policies with other companies.
  10. WatchCor

    WatchCor Jul 3, 2019

    Wau @trackpad. I'm impressed, exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately in Finland I did not find any good options. I checked three insurance companies and only one had a system for insuring valuables.

    All in all the amount/cost of this policy would have been around 900€ /year for around 35k€ insured. Which is a ridiculous price compared to yours 500USD/300.000USD.

    Additionally the policy was absolutely garbage. It only reimpursed for any damages to the valuable object not of it goes missing or gets stolen. It did cover any damage to rhe object if it went missing and then it was subsequently found if one could prove exactly where it was lost. Additionally they had a clause that they would and could reduce the coverage amount depending on the items age :rolleyes:. Exactly a clause that I like when insuring my vintage watches::screwloose::.

    So I did try to insure them against theft and loss but to no success. I have them now (flimsily) protected by the home-owners insurance.

    If any Finns have a good idea how to insure their valuables and with what policy I am all ears.