It’s Valentine’s day. Women everywhere have developed an unusually high interest in non-edible ‘carats’, and for a lucky number of you, diamond engagement rings are just waiting to pop out of discreet boxes onto the expectant fingers of over-excited lovers nationwide.
If you’re giving or receiving an engagement ring today, congratulations. At Insurance Tailors we know that insurance is to romance, what a bucket of water is to fire, however, buying or receiving an engagement ring (or any high value item of jewellery) is a logical stepping stone to overhauling how your personal assets are protected. There is truth in the phrase that diamonds are forever, that is unless they get lost, damaged or stolen, and astonishing quantities fall foul to this unfortunate fate each and every year. If the worst were to happen to you, we understand that you want to be assured of the best protection available.
James Lavers, one of our specialist portfolio managers for high net worth clients, discusses:
“We have been lucky enough to insure engagement rings worth anything from a few thousand pounds to several hundred thousand pounds. Each case is different, and the insurer’s restrictions and conditions always need to be carefully considered and adhered to. Essentially they are two options for jewellery insurance or individual high value items. You can either take out a separate policy or add the items as part of a household policy. At Insurance Tailors we usually recommend adding the items to the home contents insurance, which we would review to see if one of our specialist insurers could provide more apt cover, such as a high net worth policy if necessary. Separate policies for one-off items are often more expensive as the risk is higher to the insurer, however if it is placed onto a larger household insurance policy then the insurer can essentially spread or hedge the risk and therefore premiums are frequently more competitive.
Ensure, as a minimum your policy covers the jewellery for;
• All risks worldwide
• Accidental damage
• Sufficient value to replace it on a like for like basis – this is particularly essential if you have a unique or specially designed piece of jewellery.
Equally important, is to read the small print of the policy or use an insurance broker to explain the terms. For example, some engagement ring insurance policies may insist on a ‘personal custody clause’, this can mean that the ring is only insured when it is physically carried or worn by the insured, or alternatively kept securely in a safe. Consequently a ring left unattended on a bedside table or in a hotel room would not be covered by a policy with this clause.
It is crucial to have an up-to-date valuation, from an accredited valuation specialist, especially important for jewellery you have had for some time. The price of gold, silver and platinum has risen dramatically in recent years and there is a risk of being severely underinsured if your valuation is not up to date. The individual insurer will prescribe how often a valuation is required however every few years is normal. Bear in mind that some valuers fee will be based on a percentage of the jewellery value, typically 1-3 %, so it’s worth looking for one that offers the service for a fixed fee. The valuer will ordinarily photograph the item, but you should always take your own photographs and keep your receipts and other relevant records in a secure place. In addition to the value, it is entirely normal for an insurer to request that the clasps and settings of valuable jewellery be regularly checked by an expert, and action taken if work is needed to strengthen them to reduce the risk of a lost stone. We tend to find that most of the newly-engaged are sufficiently enamoured with their new ring that they will do this as a matter of course anyway.
And finally you must always carefully check the policy terms, conditions and restrictions, and ensure you fully understand your responsibilities. We would always recommend using as broker to ensure that your protection is perfectly tailored to your individual requirements.”
Insurance Tailors is a specialist high net worth insurance broker based in London. It services private clients by providing tailored protection for those that care about their assets.