Losing a precious piece of jewellery can be devastating, both financially and emotionally. But having the right type of insurance in place can make that loss a little more bearable. Here’s what you need to know.
What is jewellery insurance?
Jewellery insurance protects valuable items such as rings, necklaces and watches in the event they are damaged, destroyed or stolen.
Won’t home contents cover do the same job?
Home contents insurance will provide cover for jewellery to a certain extent, but there will usually be what’s known as a ‘single item limit’. This is the maximum amount you can claim for one item and it’s usually around £1,500 to £2,000.
This means if your policy had a single item limit of £2,000, for example, and you made a claim for a diamond ring worth £5,000, the maximum you would receive for it would be £2,000. Or your claim could be rejected entirely.
High-value items must therefore be listed separately on your home contents policy to be covered. This will usually result in higher premiums and perhaps a higher excess (the amount you agree to pay before the insurer steps in and foots the remainder of the claim).
Specialist jewellery insurance, on the other hand, offers more tailored and comprehensive cover for your valuables and can be better suited to those with high-value jewellery collections.
What sorts of risks does jewellery insurance cover?
Jewellery insurance will typically provide cover for the following:
damage caused by fire or flooding
loss or damage to diamonds or stones
cover away from home, including overseas
If your policy does not automatically include cover away from home or accidental damage, you can usually bolt these on for an additional charge.
What value or types of jewellery can be insured?
This will differ depending on the policy. But insurers generally provide cover for jewellery collections of up to between £30,000 and £50,000.
Jewellery insurance will usually cover the following:
rings (including engagement and wedding rings)
What sort of policies are there and what affects their cost?
As with any type of insurance, some jewellery insurance policies are more comprehensive than others. Those that offer a wider level of cover are generally more expensive.
The cost of your policy will also depend on where you live, your claims history, the security measures in your home, and the value of the items you’re insuring. The more high-value items you include on your policy, the more you’ll pay for cover.
If you’re not sure what your items are worth, it’s sensible to get them valued before you buy cover, then re-valued every two to five years. If you over-estimate the value, you’ll end up paying more than you need to for cover. But if you under-estimate, you might lose out financially in the event of a claim.
How can I get the best jewellery insurance policy?
When it comes to jewellery, its specialist nature means it’s essential to shop around and ask several different insurance providers for policy quotes. Be sure to compare both the price as well as the level of cover to ensure you’re happy. The cheapest quote may not necessarily be the most appropriate quote for your valuables. If you buy your contents and buildings insurance from the same provider, you may be in line for a discount on your jewellery cover if you take this out alongside existing policies.
How easy is it to make a claim?
Making a claim on your jewellery insurance should be straightforward, providing you have a valuation certificate or receipt for the item(s) you’re claiming for. Photos of your items can also help.
With these to hand, along with your policy number, contact your insurer as soon as possible. Your insurer’s phone number should be on your policy documents, or you’ll be able to find it on their website.
Your insurer will then send you a claims form which you should return as soon as you can.
If your belongings have been stolen, you’ll also need to report it to the police to get a crime reference number.
What exclusions are there?
Depending on the policy you choose, you may come across the following exclusions. Exclusions are the cases where an insurer won’t pay out on a claim:
damage caused by wear and tear
cosmetic damage such as scratches
theft by guests you invited into your home
loss of one earring only
Will I still be covered if I take my jewellery abroad?
Some jewellery insurance policies will automatically include cover abroad as standard, while others will offer it as an add-on for which you’ll pay extra. Cover may also be limited to a certain number of consecutive days, 60, for example.
What’s the best way to keep down premiums?
Shopping around and using comparison sites to aid research are the best ways to reduce premiums, but you can also choose a higher voluntary excess. This is the amount you must pay towards the cost of a claim, but always make sure you could still afford it.
Increasing security measures around your home, such as fitting a burglar alarm or high-quality locks, can also lower your premiums, as can storing high-value items in a safe.