26th August 2011
- Number of theft claims increase by 14 per cent on same period in 2009
With the number of home theft claims increasing by 14 per cent in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2009*, homeowners are being urged to ensure that the current value of their jewellery is up-to-date on their home insurance policy.
Churchill Home Insurance has seen theft claims jump over the past two years, and jewellery now accounts for a third of theft claims. 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."
Notes to editors:
- *Churchill Home Insurance claims data, August 2011
Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.
Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.
1Based on 2009 FSA returns (policies in force).