How to insure your precious jewellery

A woman holding diamond jewellery

Whether it’s a shiny new piece of blinding bling or a treasured family heirloom, there’s something about jewellery that tugs at the heartstrings and ensures it is passed down through the generations.

However, it’s not enough to just admire it. Jewellery is usually expensive so you should also protect it, which is where insurance is your friend.

Jewellery can be lost, damaged or, unfortunately, stolen. Thieves love jewellery. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, property is stolen in about 65 per cent of break-ins, with personal items such as handbags, jewellery or clothing most often taken.

So what’s the best strategy to insure your precious jewellery?

Check your policy

First up is to check what your existing home and contents covers by deep diving into the specifics. Does the policy cover your needs?

Check the price limit covered for jewellery and what it specifies for damage and repairs.

Does your policy cover jewellery in the home, and also jewellery lost or damaged away from the property?

Does it cover jewellery being accidentally lost?

If you don’t think you’re adequately covered, then it’s time to source a policy that matches your needs.

Get it in writing

If you don’t believe your home and contents insurance is a good fit for your jewellery, your next step is to get any or all your jewellery valued, and get that in writing.

However, a time and money saver may be to sort the good from the not so good.

I have jewellery I love, heirlooms even, but much of it is not worth paying for extra insurance. They would easily be covered by my existing insurance.

Establish what items you think would not be covered by your home and contents due either to their estimated cost or rarity, and get them valued.

There are a few ways you can do this. If you have a relationship with a jeweller, they may provide valuations for existing customers.

You can also take it to a specialist valuer, who can be found using an online search. Depending on their pricing methods, a specialist valuer will either charge fixed-amount pricing or a percentage of the item’s value.

If possible, you should have your jewellery valued every few years due to the fluctuating prices of gems and metals.

Don’t be surprised if the market value of your piece is less than what you paid for it.

The retail and market value of what you could sell items for second-hand are two very different things.

However, you can insure any pieces for retail replacement instead of market value.

To make things easier next time you re-evaluate your insurance, always keep the receipts for any new jewellery you buy.

Choose your insurance

Your next decision is how to match your insurance to your needs.

Armed with your valuations, and if you believe your existing policy does not cover your jewellery adequately, there are a few things you can do for peace of mind.

You can increase your insurance overall or add on valuable items cover to your insurance. Naturally, this will increase your premiums.   

You can also take out specific jewellery insurance. If you believe your home and contents insurance isn’t going to cover your jewellery to the standard you want, you can buy jewellery insurance. This can be done through the usual market insurers or specific jewellery insurers.

It may give you peace of mind for your jewellery to be covered separately rather than lumped in together with the rest of your house contents.

It may also be worth considering portable cover for any policy you take out. This will cover you when you travel. But check the fine print, because some policies are very specific about which countries are covered. Once again, this will add to your premiums.

Have you ever thought about getting your jewellery separately insured? Why nor why not? Why not share your opinion in the comments section below?

Also read: How to clean jewellery at home

Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

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