oops: 7 reasons why you need insurance for expensive collectibles

Did your own clumsiness or butterfingers ever result in the loss of a valued possession? You aren’t alone. Businessweek has a fascinating slideshow of Whoops! Seven Hugely Expensive Accidents. These cringeworthy tales run the gamut from puncturing a hole in a multi-million dollar Picasso painting to breaking one of the 50 remaining Stradivarius cellos, a mistake estimated at $20 million.
The case of the damaged painting had widespread attention. The painting was owned by casino mogul Steve Wynn, who damaged the it when showing it to friends. You can read more about the unfortunate incident in the New Yorker‘s article The $40 Million Elbow. Of course, the painting was insured – but as might be expected with such an expensive item, things got complicated. Wynn filed a lawsuit against insurer Lloyds of London for $54 million in lost damages. Later news reports say the case was settled out of court.
Learn from these mistakes. Whether it’s a Picasso or a dental crown that once belonged to Elvis Presley, it’s important to make sure that your expensive collections are properly insured.

A wedding gone to the dogs

happy-couple.jpgPhoto: Tina Fineberg / Associated Press
Last week when pooches Chilly Pasternak (a poodle) and Baby Hope Diamond (a Coton du Tulear) tied the knot, they set a Guinness World Record for the most expensive canine wedding ever. According to a news report in the latimes.com, the soiree cost $158,187.12, significantly more than the average people wedding, which is $27,000. The news report notes that the doggie bride’s wedding gown cost more than the wedding gown that Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s wife wore in their recent wedding!
While many may think this decadence is a sure sign that we have gone to the dogs, the event had a serious purpose: it was a fundraiser for the Humane Society of New York. It’s actually a good reminder for pet lovers everywhere that the Humane Society can use support!
A story in Business Insider puts the wedding’s price tag even higher, at $250,000. You can read a first hand report of the wedding and peruse a photo gallery of the gala festivities.
Wedding Insurance offers peace of mind
We didn’t read anything about it, but with such an expensive event, we can only hope that the event planners budgeted in wedding insurance!
Even if a planned event will only be a fraction of the cost that these dogs spent, human brides and grooms may want to discuss wedding insurance options with an independent agent agent. Wedding insurance can cover costs for cancellation due to weather, illness, or venue unavailability. It can also cover losses if gifts are stolen, damage or loss of photos, rings, gowns, and the like, and other unforeseen problems. In addition to insurance for cancellation or other problems, your reception venue may require liability insurance. You should also be sure to verify that your wedding venue and your vendors are properly insured, and learn exactly what and how their insurance might extend to cover any problems you might experience.

Friday funnies: humorous insurance commercials

It’s Friday, it’s the summertime, and we’ve been falling down on the job of our secret mission to bring you some of the most humorous insurance ads on the web. We’ll take care of that right away!
The first is a humorous ad from Travelers, a spoof public service ad that makes the point that it is silly – almost superstitious – to rely on luck for protection. It was a short-lived ad because although most people found it clever, cute or outright hilarious, some animal rights activists were concerned about the message. Note: no animals whatsoever were harmed in this commercial.

The following ad is from a company called “1st for Women” which describes itself as the first insurance brokerage to offer insurance products specifically tailored to meet the short-term insurance needs of South African women. The ad offers a tongue in cheek explanation of why the company decided to focus its services exclusively on women.

What to do if you buy a lemon

“Lemon” is the generally accepted term for a defective car or a car with recurring mechanical problems that interfere with use. While many experts say that contemporary car manufacturing quality standards make it less likely that you would buy a new lemon, it’s certainly not out of the question. Edmunds has a good article on what to do if you think you’ve been stuck with a lemon.
Consumers are in luck today with the wealth or resources online. First, research can and should start in the buying process because preventing problems is always better than dealing with them after the fact. Buyers can research car reviews, dealerships, consumer complaints. For used cars, buyers should do a VINCheck and a vehicle history search and in the case of used cars. (See our post on avoiding flood damaged cars).
If problems do occur after purchase, your warranty and your dealer is the first place to turn. Document your attempts to have things fixed, including any out-of-pocket costs and time that are involved. If problems continue, it’s much easier to research things online today to see if your problem is common and to check with manufacturers. There are also a variety of ways to learn about vehicle recalls. But if all else fails, most states offer some type of consumer remedies under what is known as “lemon laws.”
State laws vary as to whether they cover both new and used cars, and most require that the car was purchased in that state and with a warranty. Cars that are purchased under an “as is” agreement would generally not be covered. Plus, states have various gating issues before any remedies would kick in: the buyer must have tried to resolve the issue in various ways before being eligible for consumer protection. According to Edmunds:

State laws vary in what constitutes a “persistent” problem or the “reasonable” number of repair attempts that would get you over the border into lemon territory. In Connecticut and New York, for example, four repair attempts is the state standard for “reasonable,” according to Connecticut attorney Sergei Lemberg, whose site, Lemon Justice, can help determine if you’ve got a lemon. But in Massachusetts, the law requires three attempts to repair the same problem in the first 15,000 miles — and one last attempt to get the manufacturer to address the defect after that.

Here are links to state lemon laws for New England states.
Connecticut Lemon Law Program
Maine Lemon Law and State Arbitration
Massachusetts Lemon laws
New Hampshire Lemon Laws
Rhode Island Lemon Law
Vermont’s Lemon Law