Covéa Insurance is the UK underwriting business of the leading French mutual insurance Group Covéa and offers competitively-priced household and motor insurance, along with a range of commercial insurance products designed to meet the needs of most businesses, through a nationwide network of intermediaries. Regional distribution teams based in 9 regional offices offer brokers and insurance intermediaries direct access to senior underwriters. Covéa Insurance handles the insurance needs of over 1 million policyholders.
Diamonds are forever - Jewellery trends examined by Covéa
Valentine’s Day is upon us, a time of year when people frantically hunt for beautiful jewellery to give to their loved ones (if they’re lucky!) Covéa Insurance asked Senior High Net Worth Underwriting Manager, Alison Colver for her take on current jewellery market and her top tips for protecting high value items.
What are the key trends we are seeing in the jewellery market and why?
Valentine’s Day is the most popular day to get engaged, every year we’ll see many proposals with valuable items of jewellery being exchanged; these are usually costly and have massive sentimental value. While classics like single solitaire rings will always remain in style as the chosen engagement ring, many other trends are appearing in the jewellery market. Halo designs with a crown of diamonds surrounding a stunning centre stone have been popular for some time but vintage inspired designs are now a key trend.
Vintage Edwardian engagement rings possess timeless elegance with unique exquisite detail. Hallmarks of this era are diamonds, and often coloured gemstones set in platinum with intricate designs, these are popular as an alternative from the classic rings. High quality antiques have romantic detailed design elements that are rarely found in modern rings which has increased their popularity. Yellow and pink diamonds continue to be in high demand, and with pink diamonds symbolising love, they are a popular choice for an engagement ring. However, the rarity of coloured diamonds has seen the prices climb over the last few years. No matter what the style however, the most important thing is to make sure your precious jewellery is covered under your insurance policy.
Have you noticed any trends in the types of jewellery claims we are coming across?
Theft and accidental loss are the most common cause of jewellery losses, with rings the most common items reported to insurers. Sentimental items can often never be replaced and customers prefer cash settlements rather than replacements. Customers often do not realise the value of their jewellery items until it is too late highlighting the importance of regularly updating jewellery valuations to avoid the risk of underinsurance.
Are there any common mistakes people make when insuring their jewellery?
Being underinsured is the most common problem for jewellery items that gain value over the years. It’s important to organise a valuation every 3 years, but do ensure the jeweller holds an Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV) qualification. Customers often don’t know the limits contained within their insurance policy when they need to specify an item of jewellery, and limits can vary between policies, for example the limits within our Executive Home policy is £10,000, and £25,000 under the Executive Plus policy. Any items not specified under standard policies may not be covered, customers should always check with their insurer if they are unsure. Customers often are unaware of the cover limits for the value of jewellery covered outside the home, our Executive high net worth products include worldwide cover for jewellery, but some may not so it’s wise to check.Do
Do you have any advice for jewellery purchased in connection with Valentine’s Day?
Your jewellery is amongst your most valuable, but vulnerable, always carefully check your insurance policy to make sure that it is adequately insured, give your insurer a call if you’re unsure of any aspect of cover. Keep jewellery in a secure place and for larger collections make sure the jewellery is kept in a recommended safe. Maintain your jewellery and make sure the settings are checked every 2 years and clasps are secure. Keep valuations in a safe place and take photographs of the jewellery; this will help the insurance company replace the item in the event of a claim.
Lastly, have you seen any particularly unusual jewellery claims?
One that particularly stands out for me sounded much like the plot of a mystery story! Our customer lived close to a church and was constantly aware of numerous rooks, jackdaws and magpies nesting close by and inside their chimney pots. One morning, the lady of the house was taking a shower before work and left her diamond bracelet on the dressing table. Returning to her room she was startled to find a large black bird flapping around the room, she subsequently noticed that the diamond bracelet was missing with no explanation. After initial investigations and a bit of research it was clear that these birds are renowned for stealing attractive, shiny treasures to store in their nests – we quickly accepted the claim and issued a cheque to the customer.
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