Jewellery and Watch Valuations: The Risks of Being Over-Insured


Most people understand that there are risks to being under-insured. Whether it’s your home, contents or jewellery insurance, being under-insured means you won’t get enough of a payout to replace your belongings, should the worst happen.

But, what about being over-insured? Does that mean you’ll receive a larger payout and have plenty of cash to replace your items, plus extra, should the worst happen?

Last week, I had a call from a lady who was having problems with her insurance company. She’d suffered a robbery in her home some months ago and was now going through the stress of an insurance claim for her valuable jewellery and watches.

For several years, she had been paying a premium to cover her items which were valued and insured for just under £85,000. She was under the impression, therefore, that she was adequately covered. Why shouldn’t she? She was paying a premium that would provide her with a substantial payout - plenty to ensure she could replace all her items.

Then the robbery happened.

She put in her claim.

Her insurance company advised her that she didn’t have the right paperwork to support her total claim. So, instead of paying out £85,000, they offered her a settlement of £20,000.

The two lessons from this story?

  1. The insurance company are not obliged to check that you have the right documentation. If you want to insure your items up to £85,000 they will happily take your premiums and then years down the line refuse to pay out because of the small print. The onus is on you. So, please ensure you know exactly what you’re paying for.

  2. It is vital you have up to date jewellery valuation documents in place that will support a claim should the need arise. It is vital that you update your valuation documents every 2-3 years to account for fluctuations in diamond and gemstone prices and precious metal prices.

Jewellery and watch valuations are a bit dull. They are like Wills, in that the value of having one is sometimes only appreciated when it is too late. Having up to date valuation documents would have entitled this lady to the full £85,000 claim.

I now offer a same-day valuation service. Get in touch should you have any items that haven’t been assessed for insurance valuation purposes for at least 3 years.