My own Valentine’s story is one of loss and finding, and how insurance helped.
Last April I lost my engagement ring. One minute it was on my finger, the next it wasn’t.
It was late in the day when I felt the weightlessness of my fourth finger. The day had been full of preschool dropoffs and pickups, a grocery store run, a bank drive-thru, multiple loads of laundry, a music class and playtime with my youngest son.
Frantic, I retraced my steps, searched on my hands and knees every inch of the family room, fingered through laundry fresh and dirty, drove back to the bank, called the grocery store. Nothing.
The knowledge that the ring had become loose on my finger in recent months didn’t help. It could have slipped off anywhere.
My partner arrived home to find me a mess. When we got engaged back in 2004 the diamond rings we picked out at a well-known Fifth Avenue store were a significant purchase for us, but not excessive by any means.
Still, to lose the ring just a year shy of our 10th wedding anniversary gave me that ball in the pit of my stomach feeling. I emailed our insurance agent.
The next morning I broadened my search, retracing steps over the prior weekend. On my second empty-handed trip back from the bank drive-thru I followed our agent’s advice and called our insurer to report the loss.
Retelling what had happened to the customer service rep was cathartic actually. She asked for details: When did I last remember seeing the ring? Which bank drive-thru had I visited? How long had the ring been loose? When exactly had the ring been purchased? Had it been valued?
Luckily, we had filed away the valuation reports and diamond certificate given to us at the time of purchase. On re-reading, these words jumped out:
I have also included two copies of a valuation report which details the replacement value of your merchandise. One copy is provided for your personal records, the other may be supplied to your insurance company to protect you in the event of loss or damage.”
The report filed with our insurer, I was somewhat comforted by the fact that our standard homeowners policy covers our personal belongings, including jewelry up to a stated dollar amount (in our case just more than the value of the ring). Our decision to go for replacement cost coverage also proved prudent.
A day later I got a call from the insurer that the appraisal department had reviewed my case and a check would be issued to make good my loss. I thanked the rep for her efficiency, adding: “I’ll still keep looking for the ring.”
It was four or five days after the ring went missing that a strange thing happened. My eldest son was jumping up and down on the couch. Anyone with young boys knows they do this often.
Suddenly something round and glittering fell out from under it. My son picked it up and handed me none other than my engagement ring!
I don’t know who was more pleased, me or the customer service rep at our insurer. The insurance check (already in the mail) was cancelled. The original ring was back on my finger.
Soon afterwards on the advice of our insurer, we went back to the jeweler to get my ring re-sized. After 10 years, one dog and two kids the net reduction was 1.5 sizes.
Our modest jewelry loss ended in the best possible way, but if you own valuable jewelry or other items that would be difficult to replace, you might want to increase your coverage, as the I.I.I. advises here.
And remember, as the years go by it’s a good idea to get your jewelry resized if you want to hold on to the sentimental value.
With thanks to MetLife and Tiffany & Co.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all our readers!