Don’t get short changed when it comes to insuring your jewellery

Posted 12/10/18

In the event of a burglary or loss away from the home, just how adequate is your insurance for your jewellery and watches?

When it comes to insuring jewellery, all too often people cover their collection based on the original price they paid many years ago. But this doesn’t take into account how values have increased over time or how the claim will be settled by their insurer.

Insurers can vary a lot in their claim settlement options, which can sometimes lead to clients being frustrated when you have to make a claim. That’s why it’s important to understand what options each insurer offers before you go ahead and choose.

The three main settlement options are usually:

  1. Agreed value on each item specified with a cash option instead of replacement.
  2. Agreed value where the insurer has the option of insisting on replacement.
  3. Agreed value where the insurer insists on replacement through its preferred supplier or with vouchers.

The first option is normally preferred by clients who would like the flexibility of replacing in their own time with their preferred jeweller or taking the cash option without penalty.

You can also cover your jewellery and watches on an unspecified basis, which is where you agree a single item limit with your insurer.

Once you’ve found the right insurer, make sure your jewellery and watches are covered for today’s replacement values, otherwise your claim can’t be settled fully and you might be left short-changed.

We spoke to one of our valuation experts, John Benjamin, of The Antique Roadshow fame, he stressed that Bond Street prices have continued to spiral over the past three years. He confirmed that any valuation overs three years old would be out of date and for those valuations 10 years or more the client would be considerably under-insured.

A client who recently took our advice and used his service commented:

"We recently decided to update our valuations of the itemised jewellery and watches that we have listed in our policy. We were astonished to find out how values have skyrocketed in recent years. We’re so relieved we had them checked as it turned out we were significantly underinsured. Now we know that if we ever have to make a claim, we’ll receive a fair settlement to replace the item at a price that’s correct."


The above valuation showed that the client was 197% under-insured. It’s important to remember that in the event of a serious loss, the only party that suffers is the client, not the insurer.

A lot of people often decide to cover jewellery and watches on an unspecified basis if the single article limit is considered good enough, however this doesn’t remove the need to have valuations. If you have to make a claim, you will still need to substantiate the value of the item/s lost and an up to date valuation. Unfortunately, we can’t turn the clock back when a claim arises, so if you want to ensure a speedy claim settlement, we recommend that you make sure your valuations are up to date.

Top Tip from John Benjamin

Always have the settings checked on rings. John recently carried out a valuation for a client who wore a diamond ring inherited from her mother. The ring was valued at £60,000 but according to John, “the stone was being held in place by fingertips”. It would only have been a matter of time before the stone would detach and possibly lost forever. Whilst insurance can replace a stone or item, it cannot replace the sentimental value. So it’s really important to get your settings checked. 

Using an insurance broker to help arrange your insurances means you can rely on their expertise and insurer relationships to secure you the right level of cover for your collection of jewellery and watches and make sure you have the settlement options you want to avoid any disappointment and delays should you ever need to make a claim.

For more information about insuring your jewellery and watches or to arrange a valuation of your collection, please get in touch


Posted 12/10/18

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