Insurance: how to protect your valuable watches

Making sure your valuables are insured is essential to any watch lover, from those who enjoy a classic wrist watch to half hunter watches too. Your everyday items, such as lesser valuable watches will probably be covered by standard homeowner’s insurance, assuming you carry such insurance. However, if you have valuable or very sentimental pieces, the coverage may be lacking.

So how can you tell whether your coverage is adequate? Take a look at the following steps which can help you reach the soundest decision.

pieces of time antique pocket watches

Image: Jeffrey Smith under creative commons.


Inventory and Appraisal

It’s not possible to figure out if your coverage is sufficient if you don’t take the time to assess what you have. You need a list of all the timepieces you have, along with their current value for any insurance claim you might need to make, if the worst comes to the worst.

If you have a lot of movements then make yourself a spreadsheet with each piece listed in it, along with the corresponding value in pound sterling. Take individual photographs of all pieces, and store the pictures in a safe place, along with all original receipts – and, of course, your list. If you have a safety deposit box this can be useful for storage if you aren’t displaying your movements in a case/cabinet.

Assess Current Coverage

Homeowner’s or rental insurance policies can be constructed in several ways. There may be blanket coverage on all valuables, a separate blanket for all antique watches, or coverage on specific pieces. All types of coverage go up to a specific monetary value, so you should check your limits in all cases.

Replacement and Repair Options

What do you consider a proper replacement to be? Is a cash value replacement acceptable, or are there specific pieces you want to have replaced by as close of a duplicate as is possible? This is not always possible in some cases due to the rarity of the item, or its significant personal value, but steps can be made if the matter can be worked around.

In the event that the watch is replaceable the policy you have may direct you to a specific dealer, or allow you to select your own. If that is important to you, verify the policy terms regarding dealer options beforehand.

Verify if appreciation is included, and what happens in case appraisal costs do not cover your desired duplication.

Check Alternatives

If your current insurance company does not offer suitable coverage through an addition to your existing policy or a comprehensive replacement, consider a homeowner’s policy through a different insurer, or a completely separate policy for your vintage watches.

Some insurers specialise in watch coverage. They may work with watch dealers and shops, and offer coverage to their customers, or offer independent individual watch coverage. You will likely pay more for this coverage, but you will probably have greater control over the replacement.


We do hope that these handy tips will provide you with suitable guidance on choosing the best policy for your requirements. At the very least, you will have a proper inventory and appraisal should you need it.