Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Is your jewelry insured?

Funny how things happen, last Saturday night I was walking with my friend, Claudia, and one of the things we talked about was blogging. I said that I really needed to get blogging more, but I was having a hard time coming up with a subject because my life is so busy. Well, last night having dinner with my Uncle AJ & Aunt Bev we did a lot of laughing. One of the things we laughed about was a story I told them in particular that my uncle said I needed to put in writing, so here you go...

Dinner & Drinks - I have a guy friend who LOVES to clean & do laundry (yes, girls they are out there!). I hate to admit this part, BUT this particular guy does my laundry for me because I'm so busy. One night we were meeting for a drink & dinner at one of our favorite places we frequent. We were sitting at the bar, him having a gin & tonic while I'm sipping a club soda with lime, and he belts out proud as a peacock "Sweetie, you'll be happy to know I found your earring when I was folding my clothes." Me, not remembering losing an earring, replied with "oh, really?". Yup, he continues on, it's a heart shaped diamond stud about yay big. With that being said, the barmaid whips around, throws her hands on the bar in front of him and blurts out, "Way to go DUMBa@@!". At this point, I'm smirking because I KNOW where she's going with this. She continues on, "I only know her from coming in here with you, but I can guarantee this girl doesn't even OWN an earring like that. Do you, Ellen?!" It took a split second to respond with "NOPE". After a few minutes of him stuttering, and senselessly babbling about not knowing where it came from, while I'm trying desperately not to laugh, he lets me know we can go wherever I want for dinner. We proceed to have a fun filled evening, I get my laundry and head home, business as usual. End of story, or so I thought...

Cute Little Purse - A few days later my daughter, Syd, and I are getting ready to go out for the day. I decided it was best to bring a little purse that I haven't used in quite some time. While cleaning out the purse, I find an amber colored stud earring. Wondering where that came from, I ask Syd if it would happen to be hers. She responds with.."No Ma, but if you find a heart shaped stud, I did lose one of those." Now I'm curious and ask her what exactly it looks like? Well, it's a clear crystal heart shaped stud about yay big. The last time I wore it, I was wearing those shorts you have on now...oh, boy. Anyone who knows me knows, I laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my eyes! Did I bother to tell him? Heck NO!! I'll let him be stupefied!

Only $1,000? - Where does this fit into the world of insurance? While nearly every homeowner insurance policy comes with a provision that pays for stolen jewelry, that provision is very small. Many policies pay up to $2,500 for a stolen item, regardless of how expensive it may be. There are some that pay as little as $1,000 or less.

Often times, people forget about inflation when they think about the value of jewelry. The price they paid sticks in their mind, but almost every year the cost of that same piece of jewelry rises. The value of even a few items could be higher than the minimal coverage. That combined with sharp rise in gold and silver prices lately means replacing jewelry could cost more than expected.

Also, the standard home insurance policy MAY cover the full value of jewelry that is destroyed in a fire or an explosion, or in the collapse of a house. The real problems with jewelry are crime and just plain losing things, or mysterious disappearance. For this types of losses, homeowner insurance companies do sell extra coverage that will pay to replace prized jewelry. Jewelry like the beautiful ring my dear friend, Debra, got for her birthday this past weekend from her husband. When she showed me, the first thing I said was to check her homeowner insurance. With that being said, check your homeowner insurance policy and call your agent.

If you have any questions, you're always welcome to call me at (845)725-7380, or email me at

Monday, March 31, 2014

Country or City?

I've been trying to sit down and write this for quite some time now. The idea actually came to mind while I was in the "big city" visiting my dear friend, Hal. It was actually a mini "forced vacation". My life, like so many of yours, is full, really full. It's so full that my chiropractor saw my appointment book while I was trying to make an appointment, and quipped that my book was more full than his. Yes, some days I feel like I'm following the bouncing ball... all over three counties! A little over a month ago, in the midst of all my daily "stuff", I received a phone call from Hal. Through the course of our conversation, we decided that I needed to take a trip to the city to meet him for lunch the following week, February 12th. Hal had mentioned to pack a bag in case I decided to stay, which I did and so the story begins... Being a country girl at heart, I'm full aware of the country road distractions. I know to be mindful of farm equipment, loose gravel on the side of the road, hidden intersections, tailgaters, railroad crossings, and to try to avoid passing because of all the twists & turns. For this little trip, the first thing I made sure that I had were really goo directions ( and my own personal GPS, Chris, on speed dial). Once I got across the bridge I made sure that I stayed focused, watched for pedestrians, and even the occasional cyclist on this freezing cold day. I was even extra careful to watch all the unusual traffic signs. I arrived safely, picked up Hal outside his building, and proceeded to park near Ariana, a wonderful little Afghan Kebob House. I got a 2 hour parking slip, and carefully placed it on my dashboard in plain view. Time for lunch! We enjoyed an absolutely delicious lunch, coffee, and dessert. Exactly one hour and fifty minutes later, we went to retrieve my car. We walked up & down the street looking for my car. Hmmmm....I'm sure I parked here. Then Hal noticed the sign said "2 Hour Parking. Commercial Vehicles Only 11am - 2pm". Well, I saw the 2 hour parking part! UGH! I had been towed! What's a girl to do? I can tell you this girl left her car, and suitcase, at the impound yard to enjoy the rest of the day wandering around the city. We went to meditation class that night, and then enjoyed an amazing Greek dinner at Uncle Nick's. The next day there was a beautiful snow storm to take pictures of. Hal made a delicious breakfast that morning, and then we chatted endlessly. Later we walked to the impound yard to pay for my car. When I went to get it the nice police officer said to leave it there until the next day as many roads were closed, and I couldn't drive home anyway. We walked to the market, and back to the apartment. That evening we went to see "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" followed by an unbelievably amazing dinner at La Masseria. Friday after breakfast, I walked to the impound yard to retrieve my car and head home feeling totally refreshed. I must say, it was the most enjoyable unexpected getaway. Funny how you learn to do without your "things" when you're really genuinely relaxing and enjoying yourself. Lesson learned (sorta), city driving and country driving are TOTALLY different. The auto insurance rates in cities are on the whole higher than in the country. There's more traffic, higher crime rates, more pedestrians, and more bicyclists. All these factors contribute to higher automobile insurance rates. Couple the higher rates with the parking tickets & impound fees.. I'll take the country over the city any day! What do you think?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Are Women Finally Getting a Break?

Are Women Finally Getting a Break? Most women will argue that men have it a lot easier than women. Let’s face it, PMS, shaving your legs and bikini line, and having a baby are just a few of the things men don’t have to deal with. Women may even pay twice as much, or more, for short-term disability insurance. However, when it comes to auto insurance, we women actually have an advantage over men. This is because, generally speaking, men pay more for auto insurance than women Insurance companies see men as a higher risk for accidents than women. A National Department of Transportation study entitled “Sex of Drivers Involved in Crashes 2000-2009” found that male drivers were involved in some 18 million more accidents than female drivers during that same period. Statistics also show that more men than women are involved in DWI related crashes. Men are also statistically more aggressive drivers, and drive at a higher rate of speed. It’s also been shown that men are involved in more serious accidents than women, causing more damage, therefore costing the insurance companies more money. More money paid out by the insurance companies translates to higher premiums for men. The gap does close after the age of 25, which is when the insurance companies feel that men are starting to mature, which I’m sure many of you beg to differ. There are other factors involved in auto insurance rating, such as credit, territory, driving experience, and loss history. However, if these factors are the same for a man and a woman, the man could still be paying a higher premium. This is simply because statistically, he’s more aggressive, drives at a higher rate of speed and is more likely to be involved in a DWI related accident. Are all men more aggressive and reckless drivers than the women in their lives? Heck no! I remember the first time my guy rode with me, and he kept slamming on the “brake” on the passenger’s side. He may even have worn a hole in the floor mat on that little ride in he country. Needless to say, I haven’t been the driver since…. Yes, he revoked my driving privileges to any event which would require him to be a passenger in the vehicle. After a short interchange of words (him talking, me giggling) I promptly surrendered my keys, even though I’d like to step on the gas when he’s driving to push him along and through those yellow lights. Am I a bad driver? NO! I’m just a little more aggressive driver than he is. Unfortunately for him, statistics show that more accidents have a man behind the wheel than a woman. Given those facts, most insurance companies view women as lower risk clients. Therefore, his auto insurance premium is higher than mine. Score one for me! Hey, since I’m not going to see him suffer through a PMS headache or perimenopause symptoms anytime soon, I may as well enjoy the fact that he’s paying a little more for his auto insurance based on the simple fact that he’s a man. If you have any questions regarding this article feel free to send me an e-mail at, or find me on Facebook as Ellen L. Quimby, Property & Casualty Agent-Broker.