News Release

Skyrocketing Price of Gold Puts Personal Jewelry Collections at Risk
ACE Private Risk Services Finds Few Have Adjusted Insurance Coverage
Aug 10, 2010

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE Private Risk Services®, part of the ACE Group, today released a white paper revealing that many affluent consumers lack adequate insurance coverage for their jewelry because they haven’t considered the impact of the decade-long rise in the prices of gold, platinum, and silver. These findings are presented in a white paper titled: “Does Your Valuables Coverage Meet the Gold Standard?” To access the paper, please visit:www.aceprivateriskservices.com.

“If you scheduled a 24-karat gold bracelet on your insurance policy for $3,000 ten years ago, it could be worth over $12,000 now, since the price of gold has quadrupled over that period,” said Robert Courtemanche, Chief Executive Officer, ACE Private Risk Services. “Multiply that one piece many times for high net worth consumers, who often have extensive jewelry collections, and you could be talking about an insurance gap approaching or exceeding six figures if they haven’t updated coverage.”

Based on the findings of the white paper, many affluent consumers have not realized how much their jewelry and precious metals items have appreciated, so they haven’t adjusted their insurance coverage to reflect these higher values.

“Historically, we have seen clients underinsured by 40 to 60 percent across all categories of valuable articles, including jewelry,” explains Gerald Escobar, principal of Asset Archives, a global appraisal firm based in Atlanta, Ga. Similarly, an insurance organization survey of those owning a valuables collection – such as gold jewelry, fine art, or antiques – found that 47 percent did not have special insurance coverage for their collections.

“Affluent consumers should also consider the semi-precious jewelry they haven’t scheduled,” added Mr. Courtemanche. “These items may have appreciated to the point where their aggregate value exceeds the coverage limits for jewelry in their homeowners policies.” In such cases, blanket coverage offered by valuables policies geared to affluent clients may be the best solution. Blanket coverage allows a collection of similar items of moderate value to be covered as a whole, eliminating the tedium of scheduling each item individually.

Here are three steps affluent consumers can take to protect their jewelry and other precious metals items:

  1. Update your inventory. A current inventory is not only critical when losses occur, or when a major move is planned, it is imperative if it’s been several years since your gold necklaces, watches, and other precious metal items have been appraised.
  2. Review and adjust your existing policy. Compare the values in your updated inventory with the coverage limits in your existing homeowners and valuables policies. Remember that homeowners policies have special limits on the amounts they will pay for jewelry and other collectible items. Purchasing additional protection through a valuables policy on an individual (scheduled) or blanket basis is often necessary.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as part of an annual insurance review. The best and easiest way to keep your valuables – not to mention your family’s home and other substantial assets – well protected, is to partner with your insurance agent for a once-a-year review of your insurance needs.

The white paper cited earlier also discusses different kinds of valuables insurance coverages, as well as tips for managing the cost of coverage for jewelry.

ACE Private Risk Services offers the ACE Platinum Portfolio®, an insurance program specifically designed to meet the complex needs of affluent and high net worth individuals and families, and to help them avoid over- or under-insuring their property or possessions. The program provides specialized coverage for homes, vacation properties, automobiles, watercraft, jewelry and other valuable collections, and excess liability protection that offers the savings of a package discount and, in most cases, the convenience of one bill.

ACE Private Risk Services is the ACE Group’s high-net-worth personal lines business, which provides specialty coverage for homeowners, automobile, recreational marine, umbrella liability and collections insurance for affluent individuals and families. Additional information can be found at: www.aceprivateriskservices.com. Celebrating 25 years of insuring progress, the ACE Group is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), a component of the S&P 500 stock index, the ACE Group conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at: www.acegroup.com.

Contact:

ACE Group
Carla L. Ferrara, 215-640-4744
Carla.ferrara@acegroup.com