Adding jewellery to your home insurance

Your jewellery can be the most valuable thing you’ll ever own – from both a financial and emotional standpoint. Here’s how to make sure it’s protected.

Your jewellery can be the most valuable thing you’ll ever own – from both a financial and emotional standpoint. Here’s how to make sure it’s protected.

Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
minute read
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Last Updated 16 MARCH 2022

Does my home contents insurance cover my jewellery?

Your home contents insurance policy should cover you for loss or damage to items within the home. Don’t let the word loss confuse you though. Loss can mean something that’s completely destroyed by a fire, for example, as it’s classified as ‘lost’ to you. If you lose jewellery at home, it can’t really be classed as lost as it’s been misplaced. 

However, you can lose your jewellery outside of your home. To cover your jewellery while you’re out and about, you’d need to extend your home insurance policy to include personal possessions cover, if your policy doesn’t already include it.

Confusingly, insurance providers love to use their own lingo when it comes to policy documents and this can make a big difference to whether you can claim for something or not. So while it’s not a fun job, it’s important you understand what you’re covered for and in which situations your insurance provider will pay out. You can find these details in your policy documents, or with a quick call to your insurance provider.

What do I need to look out for?

Many insurance providers have a single-item limit – that is, a maximum they’ll pay out for one item. So, if your single item limit is £1,500 but your diamond earrings are worth £2,000, then your diamond earrings won’t be covered. You’ll need to add them separately to the policy or find an insurance policy with a higher single item limit. 

Talk to your insurance provider if you’re not sure what your single item limit is and if you need to add items individually to the policy. 

No matter how many expensive items of jewellery you have, or how few, the devil is in the detail and it all comes down to the cost of replacing that diamond engagement ring or your great grandmother’s sapphire necklace. When you’re deciding on insurance, try to find a recent valuation for any pricey items you have. If you can’t insure them on your current policy, there are lots of specialist insurance providers who may be able to cover you instead.

What documentation do I need to make a claim? 

You may need a valuation certificate or receipt to make a claim, so make sure your paperwork is up to date. It can be a good idea to choose a valuer who’s a member of the Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV) as they have a code of conduct that their members must follow.

If it’s been a while since you had your jewellery valued, you may need to do it again. Stones and precious metals change in value over time, and you may find that the antique ring you inherited 20 years ago is worth a lot more now than it was then. 

Some providers may also require a photograph of the jewellery, so it’s a good idea to take a clear picture of each of your existing pieces and new pieces as you acquire them. Also take pictures of any makers or assay marks, or laser engravings on gemstones. Having a photograph can help you reclaim recovered stolen items. It can also help if you want a replacement piece made. 

The price of gold has soared over the past five years so that gold necklace you were given for your 21st birthday is probably worth a lot more today than it was when you first unwrapped it. But if you haven’t had it valued recently, an insurance provider may look at the price you gave when it was insured and only cover it up to this amount. That means you’ll miss out if it’s lost or stolen, so it’s always worth spending a little time making sure details and prices are as up-to-date as possible.

What insurance do I need for my jewellery?

You’ll usually be covered for the standard risks like theft, fire and water leaks, but you also might want to consider accidental damage cover. Otherwise, if a setting on a ring weakens and you lose a diamond, you might find it expensive to replace.

Similarly, if your child is a little too hands-on with a fragile necklace or your cat decides to eat an earring, if you’re not covered for accidental damage you may have to foot the bill for replacing or repairing the jewellery yourself.

What else do I need to think about? 

Jewellery is typically considered a high-risk item.

This is because it’s expensive, and making a claim for lost or damaged jewellery can cost an insurance provider a lot of money. It’s also because many pieces of jewellery are unique or antique, and this also pushes up the price of claims. Repairing an engagement ring that your other half has had specifically designed just for you can mean a big bill for your insurance provider. These pieces are also more likely to be stolen – especially as they’re often resold quickly by thieves looking to make a fast buck.

Your engagement ring could be be one of the most valuable pieces of jewellery you own, so you’ll want to make sure that’s properly covered too. Remember, if it’s over the single item limit, you’ll need to add it individually to the policy. At Compare the Market we ask you to add any items worth more than £1,500 to your quote. 

And if you’re planning on a romantic proposal overseas, make sure the engagement ring will be covered abroad, by either personal possessions insurance or travel insurance.

What happens if I don’t declare my jewellery? 

There’s a risk that you won’t be covered, or that you won’t receive the full cost of replacing the item. For this reason, you should always declare your high-value items to your insurance provider – remember, honesty is always the best policy.

Jewellery often has sentimental value and losing something precious, or it being damaged, can be emotional and stressful. You probably don’t want to add to this by having to pay a huge bill yourself, and this is where insurance to cover your beloved items can provide peace of mind.

What should I do if someone gives me an expensive piece of jewellery?

Once you’ve thanked them and taken lots of photos, call your insurance provider straight away and tell them how much the gift is worth. They should be able to tell you if you need to increase any limits on your policy or specify the item individually. You may need to get the item valued if you’re not sure how much it’s worth. 

It’s possible that your jewellery is completely covered by your home contents insurance, but you’ll need to check. Get a quote and we’ll make sure you have the right home contents insurance for you. 

Other ways to protect your jewellery: 

  • Photograph your valuables. If they’re stolen, this will make it easier for the police to trace them.
  • Keep any receipts, valuation certificates and anything else that might prove how much an item cost. 
  • Store your jewellery in a safe with a combination lock.
  • Never leave valuables in sight of a window.
  • Jewellery and drains are a bad combination, so be careful when you take items off to wash your hands or do the washing up.
  • If you want cover for your items when you leave the house, you’ll need to add personal possessions cover to your home contents insurance policy. 

Paying more to cover your jewellery when you already have contents insurance can be a pain. You’ve bought it to give protection for your contents, after all. But the reason insurance providers ask you to do this is because often these pieces are expensive to replace and they’re also likely to be a target for thieves. So, while you don’t have to insure your jewellery, if you want the peace of mind of knowing you’d be able to get it replaced or repaired if the worst was to happen, insurance isn’t a bad option.

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