Our insurer partner Aviva has reported a staggering 43% increase in claims for high-end jewellery theft. The data, which looks at Aviva Private Client’s high-net-worth claims across 2022 and 2023, includes customers being mugged for expensive watches, opportunist theft of jewellery left in cars, and numerous claims where burglars have forced entry into homes while people were away on holiday. In some particularly worrying incidents of crime, residents were still inside the property when thieves entered.

Thieves smashed car and house windows, disabled alarm systems, and even ripped out safes containing jewellery, with items stolen totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds, including luxury watches, expensive bracelets, diamond rings, diamond bracelets, diamond earrings, emeralds, and bespoke jewellery items.

To save the headache and heartache that comes with stolen, lost, or damaged jewellery, here are some things you need to know about protecting jewellery and watches:

Get jewellery valued regularly.

Underinsurance of jewellery can be an issue when customers come to claim, especially as the price of precious metals, diamonds, coloured diamonds and watches can fluctuate. Getting jewellery valued at least every three years will ensure your pieces are appropriately insured. Documenting jewellery with photographs and paperwork, including watch serial numbers, can help facilitate insurance claims and possible recovery of items.

Be discreet and vigilant in public.

Opportunistic thieves can strike at any time. Avoid displaying expensive jewellery in public places where it can easily be snatched, and be careful when posting or tagging locations on social media as this can attract unwanted attention from potential thieves.

Store jewellery safely.

Never leave expensive jewellery in cars or out on display at home, and invest in an insurance approved safe to store jewellery when it’s not being worn. With thieves also removing safes out of properties, make sure the safe is professionally installed in an appropriate location.

Secure properties and maintain home security systems.

While locking doors and windows might seem like a simple task, complacency or forgetfulness can land people in hot water. Additionally, installing an insurance approved home security system comprising of intruder alarms, motion detectors, lights, and CCTV, can help deter burglars and alert people to potential thieves on their property.

Check your jewellery for wear and tear. 

Loose stones, worn settings or damaged clasps could result in lost or broken jewellery. Regularly maintaining your jewellery with a trusted jeweller will help prevent accidental damage or loss and extend the lifespan of your jewellery.

Be cautious with repairs.

Be selective about where you take your jewellery for repairs or cleaning. Use jewellers who have a good reputation for security and reliability.

Purchase the right insurance.

Ensuring your jewellery is properly insured against theft, loss and accidental damage will give you peace of mind that your jewellery is covered if the worst does happen. For expensive items this includes checking the single-article limit for valuables on your policy and purchasing adequate policies that provide enough cover. For some consumers, they may need high-net-worth policies.

Stay informed about local crime trends.

Be aware of any recent incidents of thefts in your area. Taking proactive measures against thieves will help keep you and your jewellery safe.