The Claim Game: How Jewelers unBLOCKed is Changing the Jewelry Insurance Business

A necessary part of a high-risk business, insurance can be daunting for even the most seasoned retailers. That’s why Jewelers unBLOCKed (alongside Chubb) created a service that would address the specific challenges of the jewelry industry. Including broader coverage as well as customized solutions that can change to fit the needs of qualified stores, the year-old program also uses education to help retailers stay safe at home and on the road. Retail Details spoke to Jewelers unBLOCKed vice president Laurette Merusi for more information.

JCK: What is the biggest misconception about jewelry insurance?  

Laurette Merusi: Affordability. Many jewelers think that they can’t “afford” to insure their assets, but most can’t afford to support and survive a significant claim. Investments in store security such as UL alarm systems, UL rated safes, and surveillance recording can actually yield significant savings for a jewelers block policy and make it quite affordable.

JCK: How can retailers customize their policies with unBLOCKed?  

LM: Retailers can customize their policies by insuring all or a portion of their inventory, include transit or shipping coverage and have enhanced wearing of goods and show window coverage.                                 

JCK: What makes your service different from others in the marketplace?  

LM: Jewelers unBLOCKed not only provides renowned Chubb client services but support resources such as access to salesperson security experts, store protection practices, and underwriters that will discuss and address the nuances of your business.

JCK: With gold prices rising, should retailers be concerned about their existing coverage?  

LM: Absolutely! Previously purchased or memo goods can have a much higher replacement cost due to increasing gold prices. Ideally, your valuation clause should allow for increases in cost of replacing your goods. Jewelers unBLOCKed has a Chubb valuation which provides for increased cost in gold or other commodities.

JCK: Can jewelers come to you for advice about store safety? If so, what should be their No. 1 priority besides insurance?  

LM: We love to discuss store security. Store security is people security—customers and employees! Invest in a good alarm system and train your employees well with regards to security procedures and always have at least a minimum of two people out on the sales floor.

JCK: Is there a formula for how much a retailer should spend on insurance (a certain percentage of inventory, etc.)?  

LM: A jeweler should evaluate how much they can afford to lose without insurance and then work with a jewelers block underwriting professional to customize a policy that protects the jeweler from a devastating catastrophic loss with an eye for their bottom line.

Author of A Girl’s Guide to Buying Diamonds, Randi Molofsky has covered the fine jewelry and gemstone industries for 12 years. A noted contributor to fashion and business publications ranging from W to New York, and the former fashion editor at National Jeweler, she also serves as a strategic consultant for industry organizations and high-profile designers. Randi muses on personal style and design at pimpsqueak.com.