Why buy a watch collection, when you're not even insured?
Updated: Oct 12, 2019
To anybody reading this, WatchVIP does not store any jewellery/watches/precious assets in any of our properties, be it commercial or residential. All of our precious assets are locked safely in multiple bank vaults around the UK.
If your goal is to build yourself a collection of luxury timepieces, please read on as this article is meant for you. There is a considerable hidden cost of owning luxury watches, and I'd like to shed some light on this.
I want to start by showing you a typical watch collection (lots of Rolex pieces with 1 watch for every day of the week). We will use this to build a template that we can use for examples below. Some of these pieces are in our collection (available to hire for special occasions)
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch - £3,810
Rolex Day-Date President Everose Gold with Green Dial (228235) - £28,850
Rolex Submariner (116613lb) - £10,350
Rolex Milgauss (116400gv) - £6,300
Rolex Datejust 41 Blue Roman Dial (126334) - £7,300
Tag Heuer Monaco Calibre 12 - £4,350
Breitling Navitimer DC3 (Limited Edition, 1 in 500) - £7,750
TOTAL VALUE OF COLLECTION - £68,710
Bear in mind that these watches do not even contain any Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet (AP) or Vacheron Constanin pieces. If we were to add any more watches from the Holy Trinity of watchmakers, we would easily be over £100k. Read below and let's see what we need to consider to insure this collection.
Am I insured?
MAXIMUM ARTICLE VALUE
Now, if you look at the small print of most insurance policies, you'll find that there are certain things to consider like the "maximum article value". This means an insurer will place a maximum value on any single item. With many insurers, a piece of jewellery cannot exceed £10,000. So, the Rolex President will definitely not be covered as it's £28k, and neither would any piece from an ultra high-end brand like Patek Phillipe or Jacob & Co.
PERCENTAGE OF HOME'S CONTENTS
The other thing to consider is how much your jewellery collection is worth as a percentage of your household's total contents. Personally, I have never seen a home insurer allow jewellery to be worth more than 50% of the home's contents. So, in the case above, we have £68,710 worth of men's jewellery. We would therefore need another £68,710 of non-jewellery contents e.g. lighting, furniture, electronic equipment. 99% of households will not have contents that will be equal in value to all of the jewellery in a watch collection.
THE INSURER'S RISK CALCULATIONS
So, why is it that your home insurer won't cover you? Simple answer - risk! Possessing that much jewellery is of much higher risk to the insurance company. They know that burglars target two things when breaking into a home: jewellery and cash. A burglar will not usually bother targeting your TV or other electronics. Why? Electronic equipment, although pricey, is much less valuable than jewellery. Consider, a Rolex President watch is worth more than most people's cars! Jewellery is high-value with minimal footprint. The collection above could quite easily fit in your back pockets. That is much more attractive to a thief looking to maximise reward and minimise risk.
What do you do if you have this much jewellery? Well, you go to a specialist home insurer or alternatively, a jewellery insurer. But watch out for the premiums on these. The collection above could quite easily exceed £2000 per year, just on insuring your goods in the home. If you want to add cover for wearing your watches outside the home, you can add more on top of this as the risks increase further.
Home Safe. Am I installing it the right way?
Another thing to consider is you will need a good safe. Surely, you plan on having a safe in your home? Well, I've got to tell you that you won't be covered unless you buy an insurance-approved safe. A £100 Yale safe from Argos will not cut it in the insurer's eyes. A typical safe to cover the above would need to be (at least) approved up to £60,000 in belongings.
Here is a suitable safe for the job:
The cost is £732 for a small size and it's only insured up to £60k worth of goods with no fire protection. Insurance companies also like to see evidence that you have had your safe professionally installed. The general rule is that a home safe must be professionally fitted and drilled to the floor (floor must have a concrete sub-base). So, installing this safe in your wardrobe will not cut it! A thief can easily pry it out with a crowbar and run away. They won't even bother trying to open the safe - more efficient to just run away with it and break into it later. To ensure you've done your due diligence, you must hire out a builder to ensure the floor is suitable (and flat) for bolting down your safe and thus deter thieves from easy access.
To conclude, every jewellery insurer I have spoken to about watch collections seems to give me the same advice: act as if you are not insured. Isn't part of the reason you pay for insurance in the first place, to give you peace of mind? Let me tell you, there is no peace of mind in jewellery, even when you are insured.
Consider the added anxiety you have when leaving your home for work and burglars break in. Consider if your children are at home and thieves break in. Would you see your home in the same way again?
Please remember and apply this information before buying a substantial watch or jewellery collection. Protecting yourself from criminals is no joke!
At WatchVIP, we offer our clients a way to bypass this problem. If you own just a few nice pieces, then the likelihood is you are insured under standard home contents. With WatchVIP, you get to extend your watch collection, when you need it most. Hire a luxury watch from us for a short period of time. If you want to wear something different, be it for a black-tie event, or a wedding, a dinner party, a job interview, or even if you just want to wear something different and enjoy your horological hobby. Join our exclusive club and bypass the hidden costs of luxury watch ownership.
To anybody reading this, WatchVIP does not store any jewellery/watches/precious assets in any of our properties, be it commercial or residential. All of our precious assets are stored safely in multiple bank vaults around the UK.