’It’s crucial that individuals are sensible about when and where they wear expensive jewellery,’ says head of risk management
Aviva has urged customers to take precautions with jewellery during the Valentine’s period following a 43% surge in claims related to thefts of high-end jewellery.
Incidents, such as customers being mugged for expensive watches, opportunistic thefts of jewellery from cars and burglaries where intruders forced entry into homes, have been rising according to Aviva’s data.
The insurer’s research examined Aviva Private Clients’ high net worth (NHW) claims across 2022 and 2023.
Thieves have smashed car and house windows, disabled alarm systems and even ripped out safes containing jewellery, Aviva said.
The research also found that some cases involved residents still being present inside properties during break-ins.
According to the insurer, stolen items included luxury watches, expensive bracelets, diamond rings, bracelets, earrings, emeralds and bespoke jewellery.
The Metropolitan Police has been carrying out undercover operations over the last two years to crack down on thieves, targeting those with luxury watches, as reported by BBC News.
This followed 300 luxury watches being stolen between April and September 2022, which equated to £4m in value.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, Rupert Damms, head of risk management north for Aviva, cautioned customers that with “jewellery theft on the rise across the UK,” protecting themselves and their valuables “has never been more important”.
Damms explained that “underinsurance of valuable items can be a problem for customers when they come to claim” and therefore advised customers to have the “right insurance cover”.
He also highlighted that having “up-to-date valuations of jewellery is also critical for both peace of mind and protection of assets”.
He continued: “With opportunistic thieves targeting people in public, it’s crucial that individuals are sensible about when and where they wear expensive jewellery and think carefully about whether they want to have it on display.
“Inside the home, we urge people to make sure they lock their doors and windows and ensure their security systems and safes are insurance approved, professionally installed and that they are always used to store jewellery.”
The insurer has also advisded customers to be discreet and vigilant when wearing jewellery, store jewellery safely and check for wear and tear, as loose stones, worn settings or damaged clasps may lead to lost or broken jewellery.
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