Valuable Articles coverage,including Personal Article Floaters and Jewelry Insurance, hasremained a stable sector of the Inland Marine market during theeconomic recession.

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Insurance clients are still accumulating a lot of high-valuejewelry right now, says Jan Weyhrich, Marine insurance analyst forState Farm—which runs a relatively small Inland Marine businesskeyed more toward Personal Lines.

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"People are buying gems as an investment," Weyhrich says.

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Over the last few years gemstone and metal prices haveescalated—and consumers have noticed, Weyhrich says. It's an areawhere agents and brokers should take notice as well. The value ofheirloom jewelry in many cases has increased.

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The two top jewelry claims are theft and "mysteriousdisapperance," he says. Agents would be wise to askclients—especially upper-middle-class or affluent customers—aboutnew jewelry purchases or family heirlooms at their yearlyrenewals.

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"There's a high possibility one could be underinsured if theyhave not updated their appraisal on jewelry," saysWeyhrich. 

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Where a diamond engagement ring used to average $1,500 just afew years ago, they're now averaging $5,000. "A lot areconsiderably higher," he says.

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Getting a newly engaged or married young couple to insure theirdiamond purchase can be a good starting point for an agent orbroker to address future policy additions, Weyhrich notes.

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"It may open up an additional line of business," he says. "Itcan be an area that some agents may not be really familiar with,but generally it can be a really profitable area."

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State Farm has also seen a rise in Fine Arts coverage,particularly paintings, among high-end clients. But most consumerswith disposable income he sees are investing in jewelry, Weyhrichsays.

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