Luxury watches are premium quality items that are immensely cherished and have both monetary and sentimental value.
While some rare or luxury timepieces are irreplaceable, having the right watch insurance will guarantee that you’re compensated financially in case your watch is stolen, damaged or lost.
Properly protecting your investment should allow you to relax in the knowledge that your assets are safe and secure.
What is a luxury watch insurance?
Luxury watch insurance provides worldwide cover for the current market value of your timepiece in case it is lost, stolen or accidentally damaged.
If you own an expensive watch – such as a Cartier, Hublot, Rolex or Tag Heuer – this cover will prevent you from being out of pocket should the worst happen.
Why do I need cover?
Luxury watches are eye-catching, relatively easy to steal, easy to sell on and difficult to trace. It’s no wonder luxury watches have always been coveted by thieves.
In recent years, the growing affluence and the trend for buying luxury watches has, unfortunately, led to a spike in watch related crime. The increased awareness about the value of certain brands is also a contributing factor alongside the fact that there are now many more dealers specializing in pre-owned models.
Thankfully, the police are fighting back by urging owners to use the Watch Register to deter ruthless thieves from snatching expensive items and selling them on.
As well as the risk of theft, owners also face the constant threat of accidental damage or loss.
No matter what hobbies or recreational activities you like, bespoke watch insurance allows you to fully enjoy them knowing that your assets are safe and secure.
Which luxury watches do I need a bespoke cover for?
If you own a watch worth a relatively modest amount (less than $1,500) it should be covered by most home content insurance policies as standard.
However, problems may begin to arise if you decide to add more watches to your collection. Acquiring watches is addictive and a couple of watches worth under $3,000 can quickly grow into a five-figure collection.
A typical content insurance policy provides cover for belongings up to a specific limit selected by the policyholder, such as $50,000. In the event that you need to make a claim, this is the maximum amount you could recoup.
Although luxury watches can be included in a home contents insurance policy from any of the standard insurers on the market, maximum claim limits usually apply and higher value items (such as a ring or an expensive watch) need to be listed individually. This is often inconvenient for people with big-ticket items or those who frequently acquire precious timepieces.
A tailored jewelry and watch policy from your insurance company should be designed with your lifestyle in mind. It will automatically protect timepieces which have been purchased, gifted or inherited – and also provide comprehensive cover for single high-value items, such as diamond engagement rings or necklaces.
Do I need a specialist watch insurance or should I upgrade my home content policy?
Never assume that your cherished luxury watch is adequately protected by a home content insurance policy. If you do, you may have to learn the hard way that you’re not protected in the way you expected and needed to be.
Some content insurance policies automatically provide cover for jewelry and watches, whilst others don’t. Some providers won’t cover watches when they’re not in your home. Other policies offer accidental damage cover only as an optional extra for watches. According to insurance industry data, watches are the highest single-value item listed when trying to obtain a quote for home content insurance.
If you own a luxury watch or a collection which is of higher than average value, we strongly advise arranging a cover tailored to your exact requirements. In our experience, people often find that it’s more cost-effective to insure their luxury watch or collection as part of an insurance ‘portfolio’ – a service which cannot be offered by comparison websites or standard market insurers.
Will an insurance policy protect my watch anywhere I take it?
If you own a luxury watch, we know you’ll want to wear it proudly and enjoy the pleasure of having it on your wrist. You certainly don’t want to keep it locked up in a safe or stored away where it cannot be admired.
Unfortunately, some standard insurers on the market will only provide cover for expensive watches when they’re in your home. If you’re a watch aficionado, a policy of this nature is bordering on pointless, thus you need a more specialized policy to cover your needs.
Why is the current market value of my watch so important?
In order to obtain the right level of watch insurance cover, it’s important to know its current market value.
The luxury watch market has provided solid investment returns for a number of years and, because these items can appreciate in value, it’s vital to have an insurance policy that offers insulation for your assets.
If your Rolex Daytona was last valued at $8,000 more than 10 years ago, it could now be worth around $12,000 to $15,000. But if you haven’t informed your insurance company a standard market insurer will only pay you the amount of the original valuation in the event of a claim.
Our luxury jewelry and watch insurance can provide cover for major brands such as Breitling, Cartier, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre, Maurice Lacroix, Omega, Patek Philippe, Rolex, TAG Heuer and many more. Obtaining a professional valuation gives you an automatic proof of provenance, value and ownership if you need to make a claim. It’s also sensible to get your luxury watch appraised by an accredited jeweler every couple of years as many insurers will automatically increase cover to 150% of the value to protect against market changes.
Can regular servicing lower my insurance premium?
Before taking out insurance for a luxury watch or a rare timepiece, it’s often a good idea to get it serviced. Every high-quality watch should undergo regular servicing to ensure its mechanisms are working correctly and to maintain a manufacturer’s warranty.
The cost of replacing a manufacturer-signed rubber, leather or mesh strap is quickly approaching the overall value of some luxury watches, such as Carl F. Bucherer’s Patravi Scubatec (pictured above). Regular servicing can ensure the original straps and clasps are not damaged or worn out. The good news is that most insurers don’t object if watches are worn on aftermarket leather as long as the strap is deemed to be in a good condition.
When weighing up the pros and cons of regular servicing, think of it as a way to complement your insurance by reducing the likelihood of a claim and, as a result, also your annual premium.
If you lose a Rolex Cosmograph because the bracelet failed, having the right insurance will help you buy another one. Unfortunately, it won’t cover the sentimental value attached to the timepiece if it was bought for a special birthday.
Final Words - Wear your watch with pride!
Premium value rare watches are meant to be worn and enjoyed as part of your lifestyle. We are delighted when watch collections are worn, rather than hidden away, because it helps to reduce and spread the risks between different locations and people. If you own a rare or luxury watch, don’t think of insurance as a boring detail that you hope you’ll never need. Consider it an investment which protects a major asset. Should a crisis occur, we can guarantee you that it will be worth every penny.