Jewellery valuations and appraisals:insure your precious pieces before you leave home to go on holiday

Whether they’re beloved heirlooms or costly new design pieces, make sure you insure your precious items just in case you ever need to make a claim. By Philippa Stockley

Most of us have a bit of good jewellery we’ve inherited or have kept for many years, whether it’s that gold watch you got at 18, or a designer one you treated yourself to more recently. 

Diamond earrings, a gold necklace, a gemstone pendant and even an inherited ring; or a priceless vintage watch or pair of cufflinks seldom worn, treasured nonetheless. It all adds up. 

Jewellery theft is relatively easy: small things slip into a thief’s pocket and many of us, convinced it won’t happen, leave precious things lying around or in obvious places. It can even fall off when we’re out shopping. 

Having a piece of beloved jewellery stolen is always horrible.  For one reason or another, many people don’t get round to having their jewellery valued, which makes claiming insurance difficult.

In the case of heirlooms, we rarely have the faintest idea what something equally precious might cost today. The value can be surprising so it’s important to have valuations done regularly — a good rule of thumb is every three years. 

To get a valuation done, a good place to start is the website of the Institute of Registered Valuers, run by the National Association of Jewellers (jewelleryvaluers.org). The appraisers have valuation qualifications and skills. 

A valuation will include as much detail as possible, such as photos, written descriptions and the weight of the item, in order to help the police trace it or to help buy or make something very similar.

Think about holidays, too. You tend to look after the few special things you take (though check they’re covered by your insurance policy), but what about those left behind in your unoccupied home? Insurance policies indicate levels of door and window security. You might also consider upgrading your CCTV or safe. 

Jewellery has an emotional value, so we don’t tend to put a real value on it. But to criminals your precious engagement ring is just money in the bank, so it’s sensible to take a look at your security and back it up with insurance. This will give you peace of mind if the unimaginable happens.

This article was written in association with Hiscox Home Insurance, providers of expert cover for valued homes, art and high-value items. Visit hiscox.co.uk to find out more.

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