b'JEWELRYTHE COLOREDTHE THE STATE OF RETAIL DESIGN STONE DIAMOND MARKET INDUSTRY RISING TIDES, RISING COSTSA rising tide lifts all boats, and the risk of flooding, and insurance premiums.Over the past 10 years, the insurance market has seen a distinct increase in weather-related claims, from hurricane frequency to droughts causing wildfire activity, says Greg Smith, executive vice presi-dent at Berkley Asset Protection. Fox Fine Jewelry gifted Generally speaking, an increase in thethese pendants to those who lost their homes in frequency of these events has driven up lossthe Thomas Fire.costs, says Smith, which, in turn, has led to premium increases. And when losses do occur, the increased costs of labor and materials, like lumber, only add to the rising costs.For Berkley, premiums for jewelers have been down on average over the last 10 years, though rates have increased modestly over the past 18 months.(Jewelers Mutual declined to share information on the trajectory of premium costs.)Jewelers Mutuals Fierst explains that insurance rates are devel-oped in anticipation of future loss.Actuaries look at past loss and premium trends, then try to project the price an insurance company needs to charge to cover the antici-pated loss payments.An actuary also takes into account the expenses required to man- First, work closely with an insurance agent to be sure the policy age and administer the insurance to customers. you have for your business is right for its needs. Since not all weather Significant weather events in the recent past will affect trendingevents are automatically covered, be mindful of the type of extreme analysis and as such, increased insurance rates in anticipation of fu- weather events happening in your area.ture weather-related loss events are likely reflected in insurance ratesKnow the limit of the insurance purchased under a policy and presented to a client, he says. be sure the limit carried is enough to pay for your lost property if a But its not just the number of weather-related insurance claimsweather event should lead to a total loss.that should be taken into account, says Andrew Chipman, vice presi- Jewelers Mutual also makes this note: Your insurance policy is dent of Jewelers Block at Berkley Asset Protection. designed to respond to sudden and accidental weather events. It is Real estate valuations and population growth in catastrophe-proneyour responsibility to maintain the condition of your building and to areas are also contributing to an increase in the frequency of claimsmake the repairs typical to building ownership. and the cost of claims.Its also a good idea to keep detailed copiesboth physical and Insurance claims cost more when there is a natural catastrophe indigitalof inventory on hand, including owned goods, memo goods, 2021 than in 2011, partly due to socio-economic circumstances, he says. and customer items.For example, there are more people living near the Atlantic CoastWhen it comes to store furnishings, pictures or videos can help in the U.S. than ever before, he says, which means more propertyaccelerate the claims process.development. If you have fair warning that bad weather is on the way, be sure All this new development, as well as the existing property, are nearyour inventory is secured in a vault or safe, or have it brought to a historic highs in terms of valuation, which means that the cost to re- secure facility via armored carrier. Boarding up the windows is also a build/replace from 10 years ago is dramatically higher, says Chipman. good call to prevent storm damage.The same concept applies to California wildfires, he adds. Keep a list of contractors handy who are capable of taking care of Generally speaking, deductibles are being used on the policies ofeverything from water damage and electricity to alarm systems and both homeowners and business owners to address certain weather-re- showcase repair.lated concerns, says Chipman.And, finally, be aware of pending weather-related events and heed Instead of having a flat deductible, the deductible is instead aall warnings to close the store or evacuate, if need be.percentage ranging from 1 to 5 percent of the total loss.The lives and safety of you and your staff are of the utmost Percentage deductibles are used commonly for hurricanes and theimportance. Let insurance handle whats replaceable.idea is also gaining traction with wildfires, says Chipman.LOOKING AHEADBE PREPARED All the preparation in the world still may not be enough to pre-Theres no way to prevent a weather-related catastrophe, but Jewelerspare you for Mother Nature at her full power.Mutual shared some pointers to help jewelers better prepare themselves. Nevertheless, Dubin and Fox stand firm in their shared belief that 16 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2021'