When Should I Insure My Watch Collection?

Jean-Pierre G. from Quebec, Canada asks:

At what point does it become advisable to insure your watch collection from home theft?

There is no perfect answer to this question. We assume you are worried about theft and protecting your watch collection investment. People have insured their watches usually have special policies that cover items in their home from theft. Each watch must be carefully cataloged with photographs and careful details must be kept about how much you paid for them. If they get stolen, the insurance is likely to cover what they deem the market value of each watch was when they were stolen, and not a replacement value - which as you can imagine are very different as some watches can depreciate a lot before they ever appreciate.

The simple answer is the best watch insurance is keeping them safe. A handful of companies produce high-end watch safes complete with winders. Among these companies are Brown Safe, Dottling, and Buben and Zorweg. There are probably others as well. Of course you can get a cheaper safe to put your watches in, and perhaps they have electrical hookups inside to attach winders. The best policy is to keep your main collection in the safe and then only have a few out at a time to rotate through when you are wearing them. A good safe is your best insurance policy, and will actually help to reduce insurance premiums significantly. So when is the best time to keep your watches safe or insure them? When you can't afford to replace them.

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  • Lesthepom

    I tried to insure my collection but the cost was astronomical the cost of 2 years insurance was the cost of a good safe so I got the safe my insurance company wouldn’t give a discount for having them in a safe
    And I advise everybody to double cheque there policy’s my company told me I was covered but on reading my policy I was only covered for 1/3 of the value of my contents as you can imagine unless you have a collection of furs or fine art you jewelry is probably the most expensive things in you house your wife may have most of here rings and stuff on but not many people wear more than one watch at a time which leaves the rest of your collection at home and the lock on your front door probably cost less Than $150

  • DG Cayse

    Interesting topic. The last few watches that I purchased from a Jewelery store / Authorized dealers provided me with forms for my home owners insurance. I was to provide these papers, which indicated retail value, for adding their coverage to my home owners policy.
    As I already had a safe for my guns, I simply put them on a shelf in that safe.
    Another suggestion, if one is concerned about home robbery, is to go to your local bank and obtain a security box. The cost is minimal. However, this might be inconvenient for switching watches on a daily basis.
    Speaking to your homeowner or renters insurance agent might be a good thing to do. Most policies can easily add items of value to your existing policy at small cost.

  • Lesthepom

    DG Cayse I looked at my insurance polys about 2 years ago as the company told me I was covered but a close look at the fine print told me very quickly that I was well under insured the most they would pay is 1/4 of the total contents of the policy, so for instance I had contents covered for $45000 so that meant the most they would pay would be $11250 this would replace 1 or maybe 2 watches so I asked how much to cover contents for 400000 divide by 4 $100000 cover would replace most of my best items, but the policy was going to be over $6000 a year so I went with the by a good safe option. The high end watch safes are out of my league so I got in touch with a local safe maker and had one custom made to fit my watch winders and had power installed in it, all quite easy a full on jewelry safe was out of the question not only are they physically big but most are well over the 3000Kg that sort of weight on such a small footprint was out of the question in my modest house the foundations are just not made to take that sort of weight in one small place. My safe is about 5ft tall and comes in at just over 400Kg and has 2 large bolts in to the concrete slab and my insurance company still will not discount my policy for having the safe please have a close look at your policy before assuming your treasured watches are covered. take good pictures of you watches and there serial numbers

  • Yojimbo

    “There is no perfect answer to this question.”

    Actually yes there is, go through your homeowner’s or renter’s policy with your insurance agent and understand the policy limits. When the collection’s value outstrips your coverage in an amount you’re no longer comfortable covering yourself in case of loss, then it’s time to consider an additional policy.

  • Michael Senderovich

    Going through renters or homeowners will only grant you a limited amount of coverage. Unless you have Chubb, your carrier has no idea how to properly insure your timepiece. And if you do have Chubb, your premium is likely to be so high that you’ll pay a premium so high that after a few years you could’ve bought the same watch…

    The simple answer to this question is specialty insurance. There are carriers and brokers like me that specialize in insuring watches and jewelry. Expect to pay between 1-2% of the appraised value of the watch as your annual premium. Just google Insure My Jewels and boom, a watch collector that insures watches.