Specialist Jewellery Insurance
Is it worth the cost?
As you can guess, I am an advocate for professional watch and jewellery valuations. But a valuation works hand in hand with your insurance policy. It's no good tasking a professional valuer to value your watches or jewellery if your home insurance isn't up to scratch. Paying for both, especially if your policy doesn't provide you with the correct cover, is about as much use as setting fire to a pile of money each month.
In my experience, home insurance is something most people leave to the last minute and then arrange via a comparison site. Often they will choose one of the cheapest options with little attention to the small print. Sure there is a perceived monetary saving at the outset, but the actual cost doesn't become apparent until you have to make a claim and realise that your policy lacks the correct cover level.
I don't begrudge people for looking to save money, but home and contents insurance isn't something to skimp on, and it's very much a false economy. The problem with comparison sites is the policies are 'off the rack' and one size fits all, which is fine for replacing items such as your sofa, TV or fridge freezer. But they don't take into consideration the nuances of covering or replacing watches and jewellery.
Tales of Woe
I have lost count of how many clients I have dealt with who had generic policies and didn't realise the small print limitations. I have seen examples where an engagement ring was only covered in the home whilst on the clients' finger. Meaning that every time she took it off to wash her hands, she wasn't insured. I had a client whose policy stipulated that his watch has to be replaced new. This was no good, as he owned a vintage 1960's Omega inherited from his dad. Another client who travelled a lot with work, often spending a month or two away at a time. They were horrified to find out that her policy only covered her jewellery out of the country for a total of twenty days a year. But my personal favourite was the insurance company who was adamant they could replace a Victorian ring new! I am yet to find out how they can do this, but I pretty sure they don't own a time machine.
The simple fact is, insurance like valuations, requires a company that understands the market. More importantly, a company that understands your needs for the policy to be tailored to fit, 'off the rack' rarely provides the fit you need.
Insurance Premium Paid - But are you Covered?
I am forever telling people to always speak to their insurance provider. Never fall into the trap of thinking that just because you pay your premium, that you are covered. Always tell your insurer what you have, how the value has changed, and how you would choose to replace it in the event of a claim. Never assume that they know what you have, what you know or what you are thinking. It is much easier to address these aspects and any policy limitations from the outset or renewal of the policy; rather than at the point of a claim. You should also review your insurance policy and your cover level each year to ensure that it is still sufficient.
So now you're going to stay away from comparison sites. Still, you are also thinking, ‘What's the best way to insure jewellery?’ and ‘Can you recommend a good insurance company for jewellery and watches?’
Speak to your Broker
My advice is to always speak to an insurance broker, preferably a specialist company that understands watches and jewellery. This will ensure that your policy provides you with the correct cover level and the proper replacement route, should the worst happen.
You can find a selection of UK jewellery and watch specialist insurance brokers via the Jewellery Appraisers of the World. When it comes to your insurance, always ask questions and never assume you are covered.
- Gareth Brown FGA, DGA, CPAA, AJP, FJVA
- Independent Jewellery Valuer
- Bristol, England
- Clarity Valuations
- Insurance (primary)
- Consumers (primary)
- Appraisal Students
- March 2021
- 3 mins reading time
- Dale-Chall readability level:
Easily understood by an average 11th Grade Student
- 4 mins speaking time
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Consumer advice can be found in the Consumer Resources section, this contains information to assist the jewellery-buying public, for example: Types of Jewelry Appraisals and Jewelry Trade Asociations etc.