Jewellery insurance – have you got the cover you need?

Are you lucky enough to have a beautiful ring, a valuable watch or even a whole collection of gems?

Couple trying on jewellery

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If you are, you would doubtless be devastated if they were lost, stolen or damaged. So it makes sense to get them properly insured.

After all, while insurance won’t necessarily help you to find an exact replacement for an antique, a family heirloom or a one-off creation, you will at least be financially compensated for your loss.

Let’s take a look at the jewellery insurance cover options…

Home contents insurance

Perhaps the easiest way to protect your jewellery is via your home contents policy.

But beware: not all contents policies cover jewellery as standard, particularly when it comes to accidental damage claims.

Valuable items often need to be specified on the policy, and will otherwise only be covered up to a certain amount, say £1,000 or £1,500, either as an individual piece or as a set.

This is usually referred to as the ‘single item (or ‘article’) limit’.

So if a diamond necklace or gold ring worth several thousand pounds is stolen in a burglary, you would only be able to claim a fraction of its value.

Outside the home

Many insurers also exclude claims for items of jewellery that are lost or stolen outside the home

Many insurers also exclude claims for items of jewellery that are lost or stolen outside the home – unless you add personal possessions cover that specifically protects valuable items such as watches and rings wherever you wear them.

However, some offer much more comprehensive jewellery cover as standard.

Policies from high-end insurer Hiscox, for example, provide cover for jewellery theft, at home and away, and for accidental loss or damage, as standard.

That’s why you need to read the policy terms and conditions carefully to check what is and what is not covered. And if you need more cover than is provided as standard, you need to get in touch with your insurer to discuss how to extend the scope of your policy.

That might mean paying an extra premium, but the alternative is to have no cover, or cover that falls short of what you need.

Other exclusions and conditions include:

- Insurers sometimes offer jewellery claimants a voucher rather than cash
- There will always be an excess to pay towards any claim
- Making a claim will mean you lose some or all of any no claims discount you’ve built up
- Insurers will only pay out up to the amount for which you originally insured your jewellery. So if an item has appreciated in value – and you have not had it valued and informed your insurer of the increased worth – you could lose out
- If you lose one earring, some insurers will only pay out to replace the lost item, rather than the pair

Steps you can take to better protect your jewellery under your home insurance include:

- Add accidental damage cover that will pay out if you spill a cup of tea on your watch, for example. Check the terms and conditions, though, as some accidental damage cover excludes jewellery
- Name and describe individual items worth more than £1,000 (or whatever limit your policy specifies). There will often be an additional charge for adding these to the policy
- Add personal possessions cover that will pay out if your beloved necklace falls off and is lost while you are out. Again, remember to check this part of your policy covers high-value items
- Invest in a safe that keeps your jewellery secure while you are out
- Fit (and use) locks on doors and windows, and install an alarm
- Take pictures of your jewellery and save receipts or valuation documents in case you need to make a claim.

Standalone jewellery insurance

If you have very valuable jewellery, you may want to consider taking out a separate jewellery insurance policy to protect it.

Policies of this often carry no excess, so if you make a legitimate claim, you should receive a payout matching the value of the lost, damaged or stolen item.

Standalone jewellery insurance is also likely to have fewer exclusions than a home contents policy.

A specialist policy, for example, might offer cover for both single items and collections anywhere in the world, and allow you to choose the jeweller from which you source a replacement – rather than offering you a high street voucher.

The downside, of course, is that taking out separate jewellery insurance comes at a cost. You could expect to pay at least £50 a year for a single item valued at, say, £2,000.

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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