INSURING JEWELLERY AND PRECIOUS ITEMS – A Guide to What to Look for in Insurance Cover

Considering the significant financial and emotionally symbolic value of most items of jewellery purchased, it is wise to insure your pieces so that, in the unforeseen event where an item is lost, damaged or stolen, it can be replaced without the anxiety of further financial outlay.

While shopping for jewellery insurance it is important to understand that not all insurance cover offers the same level of benefit should you ever need to lodge a claim.

Many general insurers offer a basic level of cover for valuables as part of a home and contents policy. However, unless the items are specified separately and you have supplied a valid insurance valuation and paid an additional premium, many owners are disappointed to find that they only receive a flat claim amount per item which is often much less than the actual value of the piece lost.

Insurance under home and contents cover may also not be possible if you are just starting out and are yet to have a property policy to attach your jewellery items to. This is particularly relevant to recently engaged couples who are often young and yet to move into their first home.

It is also important to understand that a general contents insurance policy will only apply if the item is lost or stolen from within the home. Therefore, if you are travelling or accidently damage your jewellery items whilst away from home you will not be able to claim against your contents insurance.

Like car insurance, unless you have comprehensive, all risk cover for your jewellery items you will not be fully and globally covered.

Another consideration is the amount of the excess payable on a claim –most general insurance policies will require an excess amount be paid by the client towards the cost of the replacement. The lower the excess amount you nominate, the higher the regular premiums will be.

If you have a loss, many general insurers will advise that a claim is to be fulfilled by a jeweller of their choice rather than the clients preferred jeweller. There placement pieces supplied may be of a lesser quality or finish than the original item and are almost always not quite the same as the precious piece lost.It is important to know that you can nominate your jeweller of choice to replace your items however as the insurance company will often seek a discount from the supplier, the payout received may be less and the claim process more complicated if your jeweller is not affiliated with the insurer.

If you have purchased loose investment quality gems for financial purposes that are kept in a bank vault these require a specific type of insurance cover called a private vault policy that reflects the nature of these precious items. This specialised type of insurance needs to be obtained from an insurer who offers this cover.

Once you have chosen the insurance cover for your jewellery it is important to ensure that you have an up to date insurance valuation for each item. The value should also be reviewed at least every two years to ensure it is still current and adequate and adjusted in the policy value. With some items such as the increasingly rare Argyle pink diamonds the value has increased at a rate far exceeding other types of jewellery and as such need to be revalued annually to ensure the value reflect the current replacement cost.

It is also important to have jewellery revalued if you have pieces significantly altered or remodelled to reflect the new value and description of the piece to avoid issues processing a claim.

So, what are the important features to look for in jewellery insurance….?

  • Comprehensive, all risk global cover inside and away from home for loss or accidental damage;
  • The ability to have lost items replaced by your jeweller of choice;
  • The level of excess payable if you experience a loss and need to make a claim;
  • A product that will allow you to insure just your precious items alone, especially If you don’t yet have other insurance policies,
  • And to make sure once your items are covered you have the pieces revalued and the level of cover reviewed to ensure you have sufficient cover if you experience a loss.

Like most day to day administrative chores, arranging insurance protection can often be put to one side or not kept up to date. Spending some time understanding the types of cover available and what benefits each product offers will invariably save a great deal of heartache in the event of losing or damaging your piece of jewellery.

And whilst you may not be able to fully replace the emotional significance of a lost precious item – the peace of mind that it can be recreated to the same design and quality by the original craftsman without further financial outlay or heartache will allow you to fully enjoy your pieces without worry.