Whether you've just been given an heirloom, treated yourself to a new or pre-owned Swiss watch or you've just got engaged, there's nothing like owning a piece of proper jewellery.
And if you have a precious valuable which you really care about, it's a good idea to make sure it's insured. That way you can replace it with a similar item if the worst should happen.
Do I actually need jewellery insurance?
Hold on! Your jewellery will be covered under the contents policy of your home insurance, either as personal belongings or valuables, each item up to a certain value.
Your contents policy may also have a value limit for the cover of valuables. If it's £10,000, and your new diamond pendant is worth £15,000, you'll need to increase the cover level. Otherwise you'll be underinsured and out of pocket if something happens and you want to replace it.
Remember, even just adding a few valuables can take up a sizeable part of your overall level of contents cover, so try our contents calculator to make sure you're not underinsured.
But the important thing to bear in mind is the single item limit, especially if you have one item that's worth a lot more than any of your other valuables.
What's the single item limit?
The single item limit can be confusing. If your contents policy has a cover level of £40,000, you might think this would cover the cost of replacing expensive items, for example a £4,000 designer dress.
But the single item limit is the amount you can claim up to for an individual item, and it's normally around £1,500 to £2,500, depending on your insurer.
So for valuable items above the limit, tell your insurer about them to ensure they're included on your certificate of insurance.
Should I have a jewellery valuation?
You'll certainly need to find out how much your jewellery is worth before you can insure it properly. Don't assume that older items lose their value – some classic watches, art and other collectibles can age well, and be worth more now than when you acquired them.
To ensure your valuables are valued properly:
- Find a valuer registered with the National Association of Jewellers.
- Get a jewellery valuation done every 2 to 5 years. This will help in a claim where an item is lost or destroyed.
- Ask for a report on damage and general condition.
- Keep your valuation certificate in a safe place, along with your original receipt or proof of purchase.
After each valuation, tell your insurer about any change to your item's value. If you don't have an up to date valuation certificate, your insurer might question your claim.
What about engagement ring insurance?
Firstly, congratulations! And here's what you need to do to make sure your sparkler's covered.
You remember the single item limit rule above. Well, if the limit for an individual item is £2,000 and your ring's worth £1,900, then you're covered. If it's more than the limit, contact your insurer and add it separately to your policy.
Rings, in particular, have a terrible habit of going missing in the strangest places. Therefore do consider adding cover for loss and accidental damage inside your home and worldwide. This can protect pieces both up to and above the single item limit.
Do I need to tell my insurer I have an engagement ring?
If the item is below the single item limit (£1,500 for AA contents insurance*), you don't need to let your insurer know. If it's worth more than the single item limit, you'll need to add it to your policy so you can claim for it if you lose it, damage it, or it's stolen.
If you're lucky enough to have an expensive ring, your insurer may decide that they can't cover it as part of your standard cover, and they may ask that you insure it separately. This also applies in the case of wedding ring insurance – if you have a valuable wedding ring, make sure you let your insurer know.
How can I protect my engagement ring?
You can protect your ring by doing the following:
- Keep the receipt or proof of purchase document and any accompanying documents you were given when you or your partner bought the ring.
- Take pictures of the documentation and email it to yourself and your partner.
- Take a picture of your ring from several different angles. This will not only help you provide your insurer with a description if you need to, but you'll also be able to give the police an excellent description if the ring is stolen.
- Get your ring valued, and make sure you keep your jeweller's valuation certificate in a safe place.
- Check your policy, and see if you need to tell your insurer if your ring's worth more than the single item limit. (If you're insured with us, do tell us if it's worth over £1,500.)
- Make sure your ring fits properly. If it's too loose, get it resized.
- Take your ring off when you wash up to avoid damage and keep a ring dish by the sink so it won't get lost.
- If you're ever in doubt whether you should wear your ring – for example a day at the beach – leave it safely at home.
How can I claim if I lose my engagement ring?
If you need to claim for a lost, damaged or stolen ring, here's what you need to do:
- If the ring is stolen, report it to the police immediately. You'll need the details from this report and the crime reference number when you make your claim.
- Call your insurer as soon as you can to report the loss or damage – have your certificate of insurance in front of you, with the policy number ready.
- Give your claims advisor as many details as possible – it may help to have your valuation certificate with you.
- If you're sent a claim form, return it as soon as you can.
- If the ring needs to be repaired, keep all tradesman receipts and estimates, and take pictures of them.
And what about watch insurance?
As with jewellery, check both your single item limit and the value of the watch. If it's above the limit, add details of it on your home contents policy.
But it's not just theft or loss you have to worry about, but damage too. Expensive watches often have mechanical movements, and repairs for damage can be costly. So again consider adding cover for accidental loss or damage inside the home and worldwide.
Specialist insurance just for watches is available, and you can search online for a broker or ask your insurer for advice.
Keeping your valuables safe and protected
- Don't avoid telling your insurer about pieces above the single item limit because they'll increase the cost of your premium – if an item isn't added to the policy, it won't be fully covered.
- Take photos of expensive items. This will remind what's been taken if you're robbed, and help insurers process your claim.
- Don't flash your stuff on social media or leave it lying around, especially near windows. If you're not wearing it, lock it away.
* Your insurer may have a different single item limit.