The average number of items per claim has risen from 3.8 in 2008 to 5.4 jewellery items per claim in 2009. This trend has also coincided with the prominence of ‘cash for gold’ services, which could make it easier for thieves to sell on stolen jewellery.
However, following the steady increase in the value of gold, householders could find themselves underinsured in the event of a break-in. The average gold price has climbed to £972.5 per troy ounce in July 2011, compared with £327.64 back in July 2006, an increase of nearly 300 per cent in just five years.
Jewellery items that were previously worth less than the maximum value for single items under their home contents insurance policy may now be worth more, but the owner would only be covered for the limit stated on their policy.
Ian Davies, head of underwriting at Churchill Home Insurance, said: “With the rise in gold prices and the decline in value of electrical goods, jewellery is becoming an increasingly attractive commodity for thieves. However, the dramatic increase in the value of gold is also putting consumers at risk of being underinsured. We urge homeowners to check the current value of their jewellery on a regular basis, and to update their home contents insurance cover accordingly if the value of their gold has increased.
Davies continues: “If you have any items of a high value, ensure these are listed on your home insurance policy as an additional item. Remember to take photos of any items of particular value and to keep the receipts on file in the event of making a claim.”
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