Should You Insure Your Watches?

Should You Insure Your Watches?

Insurance isn’t the sexiest topic in watch collecting, and as such, it doesn’t get much attention. The truth of the matter is: watches are some of the easiest valuables to be stolen, lost, and/or damaged. If you own a nice watch, let alone a collection of them, you may consider insuring them. If you already insure your watches, don’t click away, there might be an alternative method that’s a better fit for you.

Should You Insure Your Watches?

At the end of the day, this is a personal question based on a number of factors. What’s the monetary value of your collection? How comfortable would you be potentially losing that amount of money, be it from loss, theft, or damage? How much would you be willing to pay to protect that value?

I can’t answer these questions for you, but I will say this: if you’re wondering whether or not you should insure your watches, you should probably insure your watches. 

How Should You Insure Your Watches?

There are two main routes when it comes to watch insurance: add-on coverage via an existing home or renters policy, and choosing an independent provider. Of course, there are plenty of options within those two routes, but it’s important to first understand the high-level pros and cons of each.

Add-on Coverage (Existing Insurance Policy)

Rolex Watches in Everest Watch Roll

A popular means of insuring your watch(es) is adding coverage to an existing policy. Most, if not all home/renters insurance policies will offer coverage (add-on or sometimes a separate policy) of high-value or “precious” personal belongings. This can come in the form of blanket coverage, totalling the value of your entire collection, or it could be itemized by watch, often referred to as ‘personal articles’ coverage.

Adding coverage to your existing policy can be very beneficial. Depending on the value and location of your collection, it’s often the least expensive option because it’s bundled with your home/renters policy. It’s also nice to have most (or all) of your insurance under one provider: one app to install, one phone number to call, etc.

Of course, there are some potential downsides to adding coverage to your existing policy, as well. If you end up making a claim, your home/renters premiums may increase. That said, more and more providers (like USAA) are promising no surcharges to your home/renters if you make a valuable personal property claim. This will differ amongst providers and policy structures, but it’s something to keep in mind. Additionally, legacy insurance providers may not understand or honor valuations based on nerdy stuff like dial variations, patina, condition, etc. That’s where the second option comes in.

Independent Watch/Jewelry Insurance Providers

Rolex 1680 Red Sub

Image Source: Hairspring

There are plenty of insurance providers that specialize solely in watches (and more often than not, jewelry). The benefits of choosing such an independent will vary, but a few stick out as particularly enticing. First – and potentially the biggest downside of legacy providers – is “horological literacy”, so to say. A provider that specializes in high-end watches understands that two examples of the same reference can have wildly different valuations based on the aforementioned nerdy stuff (condition, dial variations, etc.). Similarly, most will understand that valuations are subject to volatile change; Hodinkee Insurance, for example, provides coverage up to 150% of your watch’s insured value, a benefit they call “Investment Protection”.

Many independent watch insurance providers advertise their lack of a deductible and coverage outside of your home/rental. Much like the surcharge issue I mentioned above, just make sure your existing provider doesn’t also offer the same benefits: you’d be surprised how many do.

Of course, these specialized benefits come at a cost. Standalone watch insurance is often more expensive than adding coverage to an existing policy. As with any insurance, you should figure out what coverage you need before shopping around for quotes.

Final Thoughts

In no way is this article meant to convince you to insure your watches – that’s your decision. However, if/when you decide to protect your collection, I hope you learned something regarding your options. Do you insure your watches? If so, how? Let us know in the comments below.

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