For many people, their jewellery is one of the most expensive assets they own, so finding the right insurance that sufficiently covers your pieces is a must. However it is often difficult to estimate the real value of the pieces yourself because some may be old, inherited and of unknown quality.
So many of us just include the pieces in with the home and contents policy with a rough guess of how much we think they are worth. Unfortunately many people have only realised they have under insured their pieces after they have been stolen!
This article will look at the best practices for making sure you insure your jewellery sufficiently and will go over some things you shouldn’t do as well.
The first thing you should do is get your jewellery professional valued. You need to demonstrate the accurate value of the jewellery and shouldn’t rely upon a rough estimate by yourself or family members. Jewellery valuers should be registered with the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) or the Guild of Valuers and Jewellers (GVJ).
You should make sure the valuer gives you highly detailed descriptions of the pieces for your records. This won’t just help negotiate with the insurance company, but can also help you recover any stolen pieces. Store all related records off site, so they aren’t stolen with the pieces.
You can also get the valuer to inspect the pieces for any damage. There isn’t nothing worse than losing a precious gemstone from a ring because the claw had become damaged and the gemstone fell out. The valuer can check the condition of the pieces fully and make sure they are in good order. If the jewellery is particularly expensive, many insurers will require that you do this.
If you have a large collection, you should have it valued every few years to make sure that you have an accurate estimate of it’s value.
Now for the things you shouldn’t do! Don’t keep valuation documents in the same location as the jewellery – thieves will steal it as well, so they have an easier time understanding the value of the pieces themselves. Also store the proof of purchase separately. Store your jewellery in a quality safe, a good safe is a long term investment that can protect your valuables for many years. In some cases, owning a safe will lower your insurance premiums.
Don’t get your items valued overseas. Regardless of where you bought the pieces, get them valued where you live, so you know that they are insured for the real replacement cost. Their value might be substantially different in your local market compared to one overseas.
Never assume your common home and contents policy will cover the value of your jewellery. Many policies will only have a small allowance for jewellery. If you have a large collection you will have to negotiate the value with your insurers, as well as provide valuations. You might even need a separate policy to cover your jewellery because many home & contents policies have a hard limit on what they pay out for jewellery.
Remember that it’s easy to underestimate the value of your jewellery and that the value of jewellery fluctuates. Gold and gems are worth much more in 2013 than they were in 1963. So if you have older family pieces, you should get them correctly valued and ensure they are insured for what they are worth!