Insurance Considerations for Safe Shipping of Jewelry by Tina Pint from Jeweler's Mutual


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  • Jewelers Mutual’s free shipping insurance is one example of how we develop products and services that cater uniquely to the jewelry industry and its businesses’ specific needs. We offer free shipping insurance for Express Mail and Registered Mail: • Up to $100,000 for Registered Mail (preferred). • Up to $25,000 for Express Mail. • Both of the above are per address, per day . (Explain) Otherwise, our customers may work with their agents to acquire an endorsement (in layman’s terms, an add-on) for specific shipping coverage. The endorsement may be permanent or temporary (for one-off shipments). As the largest insurer of jewelry businesses, we have a great deal of experience insuring jewelry shipments, and we’ve see a broad variety of shipping-related claims.
  • Use the photos as a way to say that what you are about to share pertains to some of the types of items you’ve seen that the artists in the audience produce. While you will provide some information specific to Jewelers Mutual, the advice you’re sharing pertains to many types of valuable items and many different insurance companies.
  • We have a handout that provides best practices for preparing and sending a shipment. I want to highlight just a few of the recommendations: USE A BOX!!! It’s best to attach an inner box to the bottom or a large shipping box. Some jewelers use a glue gun. We see far too many jewelers having losses because they used an envelope. Background only : While our policy does not prohibit use of cardboard or Tyvek envelopes for shipping, envelopes are much more vulnerable to damage. For USPS, the envelopes go through an automated equipment that will crush contents or rip the envelope and eject the contents… like stepping on a banana. Claim example : A gentleman shipped a gold bar in a Tyvek envelope that had gold/jewelry references on it (see tip below). Predictably, the piece was lost, very likely stolen by a parcel-handler. 2. Enclose a detailed packing slip. That way the recipient knows what should be in the package. Claim example : Retailer shipped three loose stones via USPS to a gem lab. The lab received the package; examined the stones and returned both of them with the lab reports. The insured called to ask about the 3rd stone. The lab claims they received two stones. There was no packing list indicating the number of stones. The box arrived in good shape, according to the lab. How will either party prove their claim to the insurance company? 3. Don’t use jewelry terms. The post office, UPS, and FedEx continue to ask us to emphasize this recommendation. How do you avoid a jewelry term for destinations such as Jewel-Craft? CALL THEM AND ASK. Many businesses will give you an individual’s name for the label. 4. Written agreement : The worst claims occur when there is no written agreement (as easy as an email!) between the sender and receiver. 5. Signed receipt: NOTE! Beginning in 2012, the USPS Express Mail “default” has changed. Now, you must specify that you want to require a recipient signature. 6. Track your packages Claim example : Insured called our Claims Department: He sent a $20,000 package Express Mail two months ago and just found out it never showed up.
  • For example, if you ship a package and insure it with the shipper for $5,000, but your cost is really $10,000; Jewelers Mutual would settle the claim based on the $10,000 value established by your documentation. Of course, we would deduct the recovery from the shipper.
  • Once you sign off on a package, the shipper is no longer responsible! Some stores have a camera mounted above the shipment receiving/sending table to record everything. The photo on this slide show is a screen capture from a video that a jeweler used to record his opening of an incoming parcel and counting out the items inside. Recent claim : Retail jeweler received three packages. At delivery, the retailer counted three packages and all were in good shape. Later in the day, he started opening the packages and discovered one was addressed to someone else. He had NOT received the third package that he was expecting. Once you sign off on delivery, the shipper is no longer responsible. Do not throw away items that have been shipped to you! This may sound ridiculous, but it happens. We recently paid a claim for an individual who inadvertently discarded $500,000 in diamonds that had been shipped to him. His mistake: He kept his waste receptacle near his receiving area. He threw away packing peanuts and packing paper without carefully examining all the contents. The diamonds were folded into some of the paper that he threw away. Now, a half-million dollars’ worth of diamonds sit in a landfill. A
  • USPS Registered Mail is safest way to ship. That’s why we provide free shipping insurance via Registered Mail and Express Mail, with Registered Mail the best option. JM insureds : If a package doesn’t arrive as planned, call our Claim office and we can request a manual search. We have prevented numerous losses. Express Mail – have postal carrier initial for package pick-up/date or use USPS SCAN form (see next slide) Recommended, not required
  • You could use this slide to give a “plug” to these two tools available on the SNAG web page. Andrew looked at them with me and agreed that they could be useful to an insurance company’s Claims Department.
  • Recent loss : Claire, a wholesaler, sent a loose diamond via USPS to a bench jeweler in Arizona. The diamond didn’t work for the bench jeweler, who shipped the loose stone back using UPS and insured it for the full $20,000. The shipment was lost; UPS denied the claim because it was a loose stone. Always have a written agreement about who pays for shipment, insurance, and shipping method. Claire expected the bench jeweler to return it via USPS, not UPS. UPS General Tariff (online, but not easy to find; pdf file – not searchable) Item 460: Definition of Articles of Unusual Value, which are not accepted by UPS for Transportation: Coins, currency, postage stamps… unset precious stones , industrial diamonds, human remains, and works of art. Gold, silver, or platinum in raw form, bullion, balls, bars, grains, strip, wire, scrap Any package having a value of more than $50,000 . (a few large accounts have negotiated deals with UPS to use larger values)
  • Does anyone use TransGuardian? What have been your experience?
  • You probably have no insurance if you drop a package into a drop box. Check with your carrier… at least until the package enters the shipper’s tracking system.
  • JM could cover under a JB or JS Via Registered Mail ($100,000 limit on JB and JS); Temp endorsement for higher limit for Express Mail or FedEx JB with a sufficient limit of coverage for unspecified/specified carriers
  • BACKGROUND ONLY IF ASKED: JM does not require the insured to declare a value in order to be covered by our JB or JS USPS coverage. If you declare nothing, we will pay based on your documentation.
  • Well, it seems that the topic of International Shipping has fallen to me: I drew the short eel. This is a slippery subject It seems that everyone has a different understanding of the rules that govern the shipping of artwork, including jewelry, what is required and what is expected. To say that it is convoluted would be a gross understatement  
  • Insurance Considerations for Safe Shipping of Jewelry by Tina Pint from Jeweler's Mutual

    1. 1. Insurance Considerations for Safe Shipping of Jewelry
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