Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Featherbrained Insurance Claim

Sorry for the lack of posts folks. I took a break last week to mourn the passing of my dear cat, MJ. Now, I'm just a bit overwhelmed at work, trying to get my stuff up-to-snuff for a December audit.

Anyhow, I always thought I was one of those people who don't develop emotional attachments to objects. I learned otherwise today when I thought I lost a three-stone diamond necklace that my mom gave me several years back. (Some of you may already know that my mom has a bad habit of giving me expensive gifts that she can't afford.)

This morning, I reached into my jewelry rack to wear my diamond necklace. When I saw that all of my necklaces were there except that one, I mentally accused my pet sitter of theft. My pet sitter had been taking care of MJ during my business trips in August and September and I thought to myself, "I bet she snuck one necklace out, thinking that I won't notice! I can't believe I'm such a sucker!"

I was fuming mad until I vaguely recalled that I may have worn the necklace after the pet sitter's services ended. I wasn't sure, but I started to think that I may have worn the necklace when I got my monthly massage earlier this month. I sort of remembered putting my necklace carefully into my purse before my massage. I just couldn't remember whether it was my diamond necklace or not.

I tore my purse inside out, hoping to find the necklace. Nothing. Maybe it fell out of my purse inside my apartment? Nyet . Maybe it spilled onto the floor of my car when I braked hard? Nope.

I finally gave up and concluded that my necklace was lost forever. I felt really bad not being more careful with it. How could I have not noticed that I was missing the necklace for nearly a month? It made me sad to think how my mom would be extremely disappointed when she learns that I lost her gift. (Especially since she probably went deeper into debt to buy me the necklace.)

I was suddenly obsessed with replacing the necklace with something similar. I called my renter's insurance carrier and made a claim. (Note: Regular homeowners/renters insurance policies limit jewelry coverage to $1,000. I was lucky that I increased my jewelry coverage limit to $2,500/item, $10,000/total about a year ago.)

The claims rep was pretty helpful as well. I learned that the difference between a "mysterious disappearance" (which is not covered unless I have a "floater" on the item) and "theft" (which is covered) is that I need to know where I last put the item. Since I was pretty sure that I last put the necklace in my purse, the claims rep considered my lost necklace a covered loss. She suggested that I make a police report which is generally a requirement for theft losses.

She asked about the value of the necklace. I knew my mom bought the necklace from Macy's and a similar necklace is currently retailing for $1,200 on Macy's website. The claims rep verified the cost and settled the claim for $1,305 (includes tax). Since I have a $500 deductible, my insurer agreed to cut me a check for $805.

I was bummed that not only did I lose my necklace, I'm going to be out of pocket $500. But when I went to my local brick-and-mortar Macy's store, I discovered that the similar necklace is currently on sale: 30% off, additional 10% off and another 20% off. I could get a similar diamond necklace for $657.72 (incl. tax) - - a net profit of $147.28! Cha-chiiiing!!

That's when I suddenly had total recall:

(1) I was convinced that my pet sitter couldn't have stolen my necklace since I was wearing it during my final business trip. I even have photographic evidence of it!

(2) I also remembered I was using my computer bag as my purse when I got my massage. Could the necklace still be in my computer bag?

Sure enough, when I got home, I discovered my necklace was in a side pocket of my computer bag. Doh....

I immediately called my insurer and canceled my claim. Truth be told, I'd rather have my mom's necklace than to keep an undeserved check for $805. And perhaps maybe it's not the necklace that I'm attached to. Maybe I just love it because it came from mom.

P.S. Dear Pet Sitter: I am TRULY sorry for thinking that you stole my necklace, even for a moment. All I can say is that I panicked. I will try to do better to not be so accusatory in the future...


444 said...

What a great story! And we even got to see a photo of you. (sort of...)

Miss M said...

Thank goodness you found it! I have a similar story from a week or two ago, though my necklace was only worth $30. Mr M thought he (accidentally) threw it away, I wanted to kill him. Eventually it turned up, but I don't know where he found it. In the meantime he offered to buy me a new one, but it wouldn't be the same. I just wanted my necklace back. Your mom has good taste.

Sallie's Niece said...

It's a pretty necklace. I'm glad you found it!

Ms. MoneyChat said...

who knew a "lost" necklace could make for such a suspenseful story;-). i enjoyed the ride and i'm very happy that you found your necklace.

Jen said...

You get a gold star for honesty, returning the cheque to your insurance co. I like to think I would have done the same, but what a temptation...
Good karma- I'm sure something great is coming your way!

Anonymous said...

Phew, so glad you found it! I agree, money doesn't beat the personal value of such things. I'm bummed because I lost a gold bracelet the other day - probably on the bus. My wrists are too skinny...i've lost bracelets that way too many times!

Transcend said...

Thanks for the read. My Insurance Find