On Sunday evening, Kim Kardashian was held at gunpoint and robbed inside her Paris luxury apartment, Hotel de Pourtales. According to reports, two men dressed as police broke into the reality star's room. The men reportedly stole a ring Kanye West gifted his wife and a jewelry box, worth an estimated $4.49 million and $5.6 million, respectively.
It's difficult to say for sure if the reported values of the jewelry are accurate. Complex spoke to a Robert Lejman, president of Argyle Insurance Agency, who specializes in jewelry insurance, for clarification.
Are the reported values of Kim’s jewelry accurate?
She wears the kind of jewelry that has a name attached to it. So, when they say it has that value, it’s usually accurate, because it has what is called provenance. Provenance means it has a bit of history or has a designer name attached to it. The value would be accurate, because that designer’s going to charge that same price again.
Usually, if there’s no designer name to it, the value can be much less. That same ring can be bought for a lot less through a wholesaler or a diamond cutter on 47th Street. At a retail jewelry store, it might be $4 million, but you could get it for $2.5 million elsewhere. But once you put it into that mounting that has the designer’s name inside the shank, it can double or triple the value because of that name.
How much is actually insured?
It’s hard to say, but if they did have insurance on it, they would usually insure it at what they call an agreed value policy. "Agreed value" means that whatever number you insure it at, that’s what you’re going to get out of the settlement, versus what’s called a replacement policy, which means that they’re not going to give you the actual dollar value, but the insurance company will go to a supplier or jeweler they know to try and replace the piece. But in this case, because it’s a designer item, they’re going to have to go back to that same designer. And I’m sure if they insured it, they insured it at an agreed value policy. The insurance company will want to see a receipt of what she paid for it.
In other cases, companies like Cartier or Tiffanys can tell [Kim] to wear it and loan it to her. In that case, whoever lent it to her will make the claim.
What is Kim responsible for paying now?
Typically, when they have those [designer] pieces and they’re lost or stolen, it has to be replaced by that designer again. They can’t just go to a regular jewelry store, put the pieces together, and give it to her, because it wouldn’t have the designer’s name attached to it.
Under the agreed value policy, they can insure it for less than the actual value of the piece?
Right. The designer could’ve charged $4 million, but they could have insured it for less than that, if they wanted to. You can insure it for any kind of value that’s reasonable.
What happens if it's insured for less than the value of the piece?
The insurance company just pays what the agreed value was, nothing more.
Does the designer then replace the ring with a similar ring?
[Kim] can actually do whatever she wants with the money. She doesn’t have to replace it. With an agreed value policy, once the [insurance company] pays you, you can either buy another piece or take the money and buy a house instead. With a replacement policy, the insurance company tells you to replace the piece. The agreed value policy costs more, because it gives you more freedom—you get paid and can do whatever you want with the money.
Who knows how she did it. But if she chose a replacement policy, she can go back to the same designer and replace it. The insurance company will just pay that designer directly.