How to insure your jewellery

South Africa’s turbulent economic environment is wreaking havoc on the cost of just about everything.  The knock-on effect can, however, be seen in the increasing value of appreciating assets, such as jewellery, where an updated valuation certificate could mean the difference between replacing a lost or stolen item or being underinsured.

Updating valuation certificates of jewellery and heirlooms is not always front of mind.  According to Mandy Barrett of Aon South Africa, leading insurance brokerage and risk consultants, “It is highly recommended to have your valuation certificates updated at least every two years as a rule of thumb, even more frequently amidst the current exchange rate volatility.”

“Insurers require valuation certificates that are dated prior to the loss or damage of an item to prove the value as well as ownership of an item of jewellery,” says Mandy. “Any reputable jeweller is qualified to provide a valuation certificate,” she adds.

Once the value of an item is confirmed, it is advisable to insure it for its current replacement value.  “You certainly do not want to find yourself in a situation where the amount your insurance pays for a lost or stolen item, is not adequate to replace it. Here the assistance of a professional broker will stand you in good stead to advise on all insurance matters to confirm that your valuables are correctly insured and at the right value,” Mandy explains.

“Jewellery should be insured on an ‘all-risks’ basis which offers worldwide cover for items that are taken out of the home.  Household contents covers the contents whilst they remain in the home and is not applicable to items taken outside the home,” Mandy illustrates.

“The majority of insurance policies have a safe warranty where the insurer requires an item of high value to be kept in a locked safe when not worn.  This means that if a ring worth R55, 000 is left on a bedside table and the item is lost or stolen, there would be no cover,” explains Mandy.

“In the event that you went swimming in the ocean and lost your wedding ring in the water, it would generally be an insured event.  However, all insurance policies do require that the client acts responsibly,” warns Mandy.

There are various scenarios that affect whether your jewellery is correctly insured or not.  “Consult with a professional insurance broker who will aid you to interrogate the terms, conditions and any exclusions that may exist on your insurance policy; to ensure that you have no surprises waiting for you at claims stage,” concludes Mandy.

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