News & Press: Member News

Jewelers Mutual Panel Discusses 2018 Chicago Jewelers Row Fire & Loss Prevention

Tuesday, March 19, 2019  
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Loss prevention experts advise how to move forward in business after a devastating event.
NEENAH, Wis. (March 14, 2019) - Almost a year after a devastating three-alarm fire broke out at Jewelers Center® in Chicago, Illinois, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group gathered jewelers and industry members to honor and celebrate the Chicago jewelry community and its resiliency, and to share advice and successes on how to move forward in business after such an event.
The celebratory luncheon and loss prevention panel discussion, which took place March 6 at the post-fire renovated Jewelers Center, featured Jewelers Mutual experts, a loss prevention specialist, a jeweler and members of the Chicago Fire Department.
Panelists discussed ways jewelers should prepare for the unexpected, such as keeping proper inventory, making sure they have adequate coverage, using a safe or vault, creating an evacuation plan, and preparing a business continuity plan – all in an effort to help jewelers feel more confident about their future safety.

Panel members

Members of the panel discussed loss prevention tips and what to do in the time of a crisis.
“We wanted to do something to mark this industry’s ability to bounce back from an experience like the Jewelers Center fire, which affected more than 200 jewelers to varying degrees. Events like this impact the entire industry and bring us all together as a community,” said Scott Murphy, Jewelers Mutual president and chief executive officer. “Such tragedies also allow us all to evaluate what we are doing to protect our businesses and how we can better shield and grow them in ways that will allow us all to thrive for years to come. Today was about rekindling relationships, and connecting, learning and growing together.”
Attendees were able to listen to jewelers recount their experiences post-fire, learn essential tips from loss prevention experts as well from the Chicago Fire Department, and make connections and strengthen relationships with others in the industry.
“The fire was absolutely devastating to my business and many others in the building,” said Mark Engel, owner of Pro Gems Jewelers, one of the jewelry businesses affected by the fire and a panelist at the event. “I’ve always known there are unique challenges involved with running a jewelry business, but connecting with others and learning more about how to run our businesses safely, securely and effectively was fantastic.”
With more than 100 years of dedication to the jewelry industry, Jewelers Mutual continues to provide expert advice and support to the businesses they serve. Jewelers throughout the United States and Canada welcome the unique approach Jewelers Mutual and its strong agency force provides to learn about their business, understand their challenges and develop customized risk management solutions that allow them to run safe, secure and successful businesses
To find an agent and learn more about Jewelers Mutual’s comprehensive suite of offerings, please contact the sales team at or 800-336-5642, ext. 2118.
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group was founded in 1913 by a group of Wisconsin jewelers to meet their unique insurance needs. Today, Jewelers Mutual offers products and services enabling jewelry businesses to run safe, secure, and successful operations. Consumers also put their trust in Jewelers Mutual to protect their personal jewelry and the special moments it represents. The group's strong financial position is reflected in its 32 consecutive ratings of "A+ Superior" from A.M. Best Company. To learn more, visit


Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society