Jewellery and other Valuables: Are You Under-insured?

Many high net worth individuals (HNWIs) that have not had their jewellery and other valuables accurately priced since they bought them are in danger of becoming seriously under-insured. Over the past ten years, the price of gold, silver, diamonds and even investments such as fine wine has rocketed.

Last year’s Brexit vote saw the price of gold rise from £720/oz to £1,007/oz, which was just shy of an extraordinary 40% increase from the beginning of the year – and it is still is running at over £1,000/oz. Furthermore, the price of diamonds and precious stones has risen by 15%.

Brexit has also had a substantial impact on exchange rates in the UK. Collectors’ watches have already shot up in value in recent years but, on 1 November, Rolex applied a 10% increase to recommended retail prices (RRPs) across all models within its watch range. This, said the Swiss watchmaker, was to balance the effects of the exchange rate in respect of UK prices against other European countries and the US.

Yet research shows that one in six valuations are more than 20 years old and, if you’re suspected of being under-insured by more than 15%, the size of your payout will generally shrink accordingly. So if you originally took out a policy after estimating your valuables to be worth £200,000 — but their value has risen to £600,000 — you risk receiving just a third of any claim. That is £33,300 on a £100,000 claim. In some cases, certain items may be fixed on an insurance policy – called an Agreed Value. The values of these items should certainly be reviewed annually in light of such market conditions.

Any homeowner who is seriously under-insured could further be questioned by their insurer and could even have their claim turned down if they are suspected of deliberately underestimating the value of their property to save on insurance costs.

It is not just jewellery and valuables that are affected. Low interest rates and stock market volatility have seen a surge of interest in alternative forms of investment. The prices of classic and high value performance cars, for instance, have soared. A Sovereign client who acquired a Ferrari LaFerrari has seen his investment rise from €2M to around €3M in less than two years. This gain must be adequately protected by a suitable insurance policy.

Neil Entwistle, director of Sovereign Insurance Services (SIS), said: “There is a growing problem of rising jewellery prices affecting claims. It’s very difficult for most people to make the connection between the rising price of gold, silver — or other commodities — with the gold ring or necklace sitting in a drawer at home.

“The increase in the price of gold means this is an opportune time to get your jewellery revalued so that, in the event of a claim, you can avoid any financial shortfall. By working with specialist HNW insurers, we can ensure the assets of our clients are properly protected. Equally, when asset values fall, we can work to lower premiums accordingly.”

Sovereign’s range of bespoke insurance products for Private Clients includes specific policy benefits for collectors of fine art, antiques, high value cars, jewellery and watches, including the following key features:

  • Automatic worldwide all-risks coverage;
  • Agreed valuations;
  • Automatic coverage for new acquisitions
  • Complimentary surveys to ensure your property, contents and valuables are adequately insured;
  • Preferential rates from established professional valuation companies.

The strength of the Sovereign brand combined with the expertise and experience of the SIS team has helped us secure relationships with leading insurers throughout the world, providing real peace of mind, professionalism and an efficient claims handling service.

Please contact Geoff Trew at

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