Value & Insure Those Precious Jewels


Insurance is one of those tasks that many people like to put off. A little bit like doing your tax return or going to the dentist it is always tempting to think it is all a bit too hard. The annual premium renewal notice arrives in the mail and sits there for a few weeks, whilst you think I really should review the items listed and see if there is enough coverage. Suddenly the due date has arrived and you find yourself paying said amount and think maybe I will do it next year. STOP! I would suggest you need to make the time to ensure you are insured for your most precious possessions and in particular jewellery.

Many policies will allow you to claim a certain amount for jewellery under your general contents policy however there is a cap to how much you can claim. Some will allow $1000 per item with a maximum cap of $10,000 or perhaps a total of $6000 or even $10,000 which sounds like quite a lot but the reality is not so. A good quality 18ct gold necklace for insurance purposes can easily be worth $5,000. Half a dozen good quality pieces can quickly add up to quite a lot of money and being under insured is a common problem and one that people should address every two to three years. Many Leonard Joel clients will be familiar with auction or market values however insurance prices in most instances are significantly higher as they are taking into consideration the retail replacement value.

Unfortunately the onus is on you and not the insurance company to ensure you have relevant and current valuations of specific items like jewellery or fine art. On a number of occasions I have seen people produce their insurance valuation or receipt for their particular piece of jewellery which looks like it might disintegrate in their hands. A valuation done in 1992 (or 1972 for that matter!) holds little relevance in 2014. For a start gold prices were approximately $333US an ounce as opposed to the current value of $1225US an ounce. Valuations then were often quite sparse in their description – “a pretty gold bracelet in the Victorian style $800”. There are more than a few things troubling about this: What carat gold is it? How much does it weigh? How long is it?  What does it actually look like? More than likely there will be no photograph either. So the above mentioned piece is lost and you now want to claim it on your insurance. Unfortunately a lack of up to date information will not help you or the insurance company. And no the blurry photograph of you wearing it at a party will not suffice either. There is no way an accurate value can be determined and therefore it makes it a lot more difficult to obtain a claim for the true value of the item if at all.

Jewellery needs to be accurately listed, clearly described and photographed by a qualified gemmologist. It acts as an inventory of everything you own so that if pieces are misplaced, lost or stolen you know exactly what you have and the insurance company is far more likely to assist you in timely manner and help you to replace the item for something equivalent of its actual value. You may choose to separately insure or list some pieces specifically on your policy and not others. It is entirely up to you how much and what level of insurance coverage you choose to obtain. As we all know nothing can ever replace your much loved and unique piece that holds sentiment and meaning, however, if you have it insured and valued properly the process will be much less painful. So when your renewal arrives in the mail think about if your jewellery is appropriately insured or whether you need to obtain new insurance valuations.

To Book an appointment with Caroline please contact:

Suzana Milovanovic
t: 03 8825 5607