JEWELLERY THEFT WARNING AS PANDEMIC PUSHES UP PRICE OF GOLD
East Midlands homeowners who own expensive jewellery are being warned that they risk losing thousands of pounds if they fall victim to burglars due to outdated valuations as the pandemic pushes up the price of gold
Anna Goodley, of high net worth insurance broker Lycetts, fears homeowners may face significant shortfalls in the event of claims, due to them underestimating their jewellery valuations.
The sharp rise in the price of gold – which topped £1,527 an ounce for the first time during the pandemic – means that many homeowners may be unaware of the true value of their collections.
The warning comes after latest crime figures revealed jewellery was the second most targeted item in household burglaries in England and Wales in the last recorded year, stolen in almost one third (32 per cent) of incidents*.
Of the 248,633 residential burglaries recorded by police in this period**, 19,668 took place in the East Midlands, 4,947 in Leicestershire.
Goodley said: “The price of gold has been steadily rising in recent years and its value spiked significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, with an all-time price high being reached in the summer. Prices of other precious metals, including silver, have also risen sharply since the start of this year.”
“Some people make the mistake of renewing home cover each year without re-calculating the value of their possessions, but this can cost them dear as the burden of calculating the value of home contents falls squarely with the homeowner and giving an ‘educated guess’ to insurers is the downfall of many.”
Goodley said that there are a number of ways to be more accurate when accounting for home contents, including jewellery. The golden rule is that an item’s value for insurance purposes is how much it would cost to buy new, not what it cost when you bought it,” she explained.
“Getting legitimate valuations is the route to being sufficiently insured. Be thorough with regards to your inventory – item by item, room by room – and be diligent about receipt-keeping for high value items. Have antiques, family heirlooms and jewellery valued regularly and let your insurer know if these items are stored in a safe or vault. For some items, separate specialist cover may be needed, particularly in the case of very expensive jewellery, collectables, family heirlooms, valuable antiques or fine art.”
“Home cover places a limit on the maximum you can claim on any single item, so check that the policy has a sufficient single item claim limits to cover more valuable items. Finally, be wary of online valuation tools as they may not be accurate. If in doubt, call a trustworthy provider who will offer personal, expert advice to find you a policy that suits your exact needs.”