[intro]For a lot of people the subject of insuring their jewellery only arises when they make a significant purchase, for example an engagement ring or special watch. At these exciting times it’s very easy to sideline the paperwork or opt for the easy, but far more expensive solution, of taking out the single item policy offered by the retailer. [/intro]
Assessing Your Valuables
If you’re reading this and it’s at the forefront of your mind, then now would be a good time to assess all your valuables, new and old, and arrange for the relevant valuations, together with making sure you have adequate insurance cover in place. Below are a few do’s and don’ts to help steer you through:
Jewellery Valuations and Insurance – Do’s
- Get your jewellery valued and use an expert. In the event of an insurance claim, the responsibility is yours to prove worth and ownership. For your own peace of mind and to enable any future claims to be processed smoothly, it is well worth getting an expert valuation. Look for a Valuer registered with a regulatory body such as The Institute of Registered Valuers scheme which is associated to The National Association of Goldsmiths. Alternatively, try the Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers. Members have all the necessary equipment and knowledge to carry out a professional valuation, including training in gemmology.
- Insist on detail. If you’re using an expert then this goes without saying, but if not, make sure whoever is undertaking the valuation provides you with a highly detailed, typed description of your pieces, including everything from weight and dimensions to hallmarks, settings and types of precious gems. The more details the better, particularly if your items are stolen and the police retrieve them, it will speed up the return to you. Alongside a detailed description, all good Valuers will provide photographs of your jewellery as well.
- Kill two birds with one stone and get your Valuer to inspect your jewellery for damage and provide a condition report. It is always a good idea, especially with rings, to get an expert to check for loose stones, damaged claws etc. regularly, plus in some cases insurers will ask for this to be carried out before they will insure particular items.
- Get it done regularly. Opinion is varied whether jewellery should be valued every two or five years. It depends on the size and value of the collection and whether you are insuring new for old, all risks etc. With many policies being purchased online there is no longer a broker on the phone reminding you a valuation is due, so if in doubt, get it done.
- Don’t keep your jewellery, proof of purchase or any valuation documents in the same place. In the event of theft you are simply helping the thief to sell your goods. Make sure you keep them safe and separate. It is also a good idea to install a safe in your home; both for your own peace of mind and in some cases it can help reduce your premiums.
- Don’t forget or put it off! This is important especially if there is any value invested in your jewellery collection. The sentimental attachment to pieces can make loss or theft very difficult to deal with, the last thing you need is to be sorting out problems with the insurance company or worse yet, fail to get any financial payout to replace your items.
- Don’t get your jewellery valued far away and certainly never aboard. You will be insured for replacement based on prices and rates in your local market, so don’t expect a valuation you had done when you bought the piece on holiday to hold much water.
- Don’t assume that your household policy will cover it. In many cases it will, but you should always check. Many insurers will ask for items over £1,500 to be listed and may increase premiums accordingly. It is also common for standard policies to include a £10,000 limit on valuables. Read the small print or check with your insurer if in doubt.
Always get the correct level of jewellery insurance cover for you valuables, especially if you are including pieces on your home and contents policy. Remember that to underestimate the value can have repercussions in the event of a claim. If your jewellery collection is valuable it may well be worth considering a high value home and contents policy. Very often this offers a competitive solution, with the increase in cover far outweighing the increase in premiums. They can now be purchased easily online through companies like Highworth Insurance.