A guide to insuring jewellery

The most expensive items we own are undoubtedly the ones we would feel most upset about if anything were to happen to them.

They're often valuable not only in a financial sense, but sentimental too. Luckily, if your watch or jewellery goes missing, then at least your insurer can compensate your loss, cushioning the blow until you find a replacement.

Of course, that’s all dependent on having the right kind of cover in place, and you don't necessarily need to look for specialist jewellery insurance if you don’t want to.

Items like earrings, necklaces, watches, antiques and other high-value items (such as electrical equipment) can usually be covered by your home contents insurance.

However, you’ll need to declare anything you own to your insurance provider if you believe its replacement value to be more than £1,000, as most home cover policies will set single item claim limits as standard, usually ranging from £1,000 to £2,000, unless they are aware of the specific item’s higher value.

This also means that if your £10,000 necklace was lost or stolen, and your insurance company were not aware of its replacement value, you’re likely to only get back a fraction of its value.

Check with your insurer to see what the single item limits are and that they are aware of any valuables you have.

Wearing your valuables

In addition to what your contents insurance policy covers and how much, check exactly where it covers items too. Loss or theft within the home is expected, but policies that protect your goods whilst you're out and about are rare.

In most cases, you can add cover for valuables when you're not in the home (on days out, on holiday etc.) for an extra fee. This will mean that everyday items you wear, such as watches or rings, are protected.

Gold and silver

Some of us may find that our possessions increase in value. Gold and silver items, for example, may rise and fall as a result of the economy.

If something you own suddenly takes a bold leap in terms of how much it’s worth, inform your insurance company right away, otherwise the amount specified when you first took out the policy is the one they will act on, meaning you could lose out if the rise in value is significant.

With any major price change like this, get it verified by an expert. Most high-street jewellery shops will be happy to give you a free valuation, or your insurer may have recommendations – look for someone accredited by a respected organisation, such as the National Association of Goldsmiths. You don’t want to end up under-insuring your possessions.

Specialist cover

If you’re very concerned about your items and want to make sure they’re covered properly, it might be worth considering specialist insurance. Check with the provider protecting your contents first, as they will most likely have a range of different policies and price points.

They may have special 'engagement ring insurance' or 'watch insurance'. If not, there are a wealth of specialist insurers willing to set up policies for specific items. A collection of something may result in higher overall or single item limits.

Added protection

There are other steps you can take to protect your valuables, all of which will help the process of settling your claim from an insurer if something bad or unexpected does happen.

Be sure to keep the receipts for any of items you wish to insure as proof of the purchase price. Take a photograph of the item and store it somewhere safe with the receipt, along with any current valuation documents. Finally, don’t leave the items lying around the house, which could potentially be spotted by thieves through a window or letterbox, and keep them in a safe or lockable cabinet.

Jewellery and watches being stored in the bedroom is very obvious for a burglar, so if you can, keep them elsewhere in the house.

Find out more about Contents Insurance from MORE TH>N.

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