%img src="http://www.confused.com/%3C/strong%3E%3C/p%3E%0D%0A%3Cp%3E/media/article-images/Home/gold-jewellery.jpg?h=199&w=300" /%More than two thirds of women have never had their jewellery professionally valued, which could lead to a serious insurance risk.
It's a leap year, so come 29 February there could be more than a few marriage proposals.
But if you are lucky enough to receive a diamond, gold or even silver ring in return, don’t forget to get take out cover or update any insurance you already have.
Why? Well, with the price of diamond and gold on the rise, any jewellery you have is worth a lot more than it was a few years ago.
“Over the past five years, the price of gold has risen by 157 per cent and diamonds by 44 per cent,” says John O’Roarke from LV= home insurance.
“Many people don’t realise this and underestimate the current value of their jewellery, which can mean they’re underinsured.”
Cover under your household policy
Most home contents insurance covers you for loss or theft of personal items such as jewellery from within your home but subject to a value limit.
This could be just £750, so anything worth a higher amount would not be insured.
Equally, to insure against dropping a ring down a friend’s sink while doing the washing up or losing a watch while you’re out, you’ll need to ensure you’re insured for personal possessions or have away from home cover, otherwise you may not be covered
However with some policies like the Hiscox 505, or the Sainsbury’s Bank Premier Home policy, world-wide cover for theft, loss or damage to valuables is automatically included.
What’s the standard limit?
Most insurers impose a single-article limit, which means this is the most they’ll pay out for any one single item.
According to Mike Powell, an insurance analyst at Defaqto, this limit can be anything from £750 up to £15,000, with nearly 30 per cent of policies having
a limit of £1,500 or less.
Home policies from insurers like LV= and Churchill have a £1,500 limit.
But shop around and you can find policies with higher single-article limits as standard like Sainsbury’s at £2,000 and M&S Money at £10,000.
And premium policies like Hiscox 505 and M&S Premier insure up to £15,000.
If a piece of jewellery exceeds any single-article limit, tell your insurer and arrange to have it listed separately on your policy, which is likely to incur an extra fee.
Co-op Bank offers an add-on to existing policies, where you can specify one-off expensive items up to the value of £17,500 with its specified personal possessions insurance.
Getting a valuation
You may not necessarily be asked to prove the value of a piece of jewellery when taking out home insurance.
“But if you make a claim for loss or damage you’ll have to provide a valuation or receipt,” says Vicky Bristow from Churchill.
And O’Roarke at LV= recommends annual valuations if prices continue to rise, along with keeping your insurer informed about any change in value.
Specialist jeweller and pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond say it’s seen a 100 per cent increase in the number of customers wanting valuations for insurance purposes since this time last year.
It offers a one-week turnaround at around £40 a time.
You can also get valuations from other high-street jewellers including Ernest Jones and H. Samuel.
Both offer a valuation service at £55 a time but items will be sent away for up to four weeks.
In the same way you should update your house insurance if you buy any big-ticket items, be sure to add in the current value of the contents of your jewellery box.
Don’t forget to include any pieces you no longer wear, or may have inherited, or been given since your last renewal.