Auckland August 21, 2018
Poor security is a worrying trend among customers with high-value jewellery, says AA Insurance.
A recent review of jewellery claims data from November 2015 to January 2018 showed that customers have limited and often non-existent security in place to protect expensive jewellery when they were not worn, AA Insurance Customer Relations Manager Amelia Macandrew said.
This included keeping items on top of bedroom dressers, in bedside drawers and wardrobe cupboards.
“Keeping your jewellery stored in obvious places makes theft so much easier and quicker for thieves, especially when an alarm sounds and they want to leave your home in a hurry. Most people wouldn’t leave thousands in cash on their bedside table or dresser, so why take the chance with your jewellery,” she said.
Theft despite alarm
An AA Insurance customer had almost $20,000 worth of gold jewellery stolen from her jewellery box sitting on her dresser. The thief reached in through the cat door to unlock the back door; unfortunately, there was no house alarm.
Another customer had $37,000 worth of jewellery taken after thieves smashed through the glass in the door. The unmonitored alarm sounded, but the thieves made the most of their limited time by taking jewellery, including a Rolex watch and diamond ring, as well as $38,000 worth of camera equipment that was all kept in the master bedroom wardrobe.
Additional security needed
“While external security measures, such as monitored alarms, deadlocks and windows locks, can deter burglaries,” Ms Macandrew said.
“It is once the home is breached that additional security really comes into play. Keeping jewellery in a safe, which has been secured to the floor or wall, adds an extra layer of protection should a break-in, or even a fire, occur.
“We accept all legitimate claims but urge customers to take reasonable care of how they look after their jewellery, including where they store it. While modern items are often easy to replace, we’ve had some distressed customers who’ve discovered too late that their treasured family pieces are irreplaceable,” she said.
Ms Macandrew advised people to talk to their insurers about ways you can protect their jewellery.
Some useful tips
There are a wide range of security options to help protect your home that often complement each other, such as alarms (especially monitored), security lights, and deadlocks on doors and windows. But they’ll only work if you use them – even if you aren’t out for long.
Do not leave door keys hanging in a lock that can be reached from an open window or cat door. Make sure your jewellery, or the container in which it’s kept, cannot be seen from the outside of your home, or better yet, keep it well hidden.
Do not be tempted to keep jewellery in traditional places that are easy for you to access, such as on your bedroom dresser or in a side table drawer, as they will be easy access for burglars too.
Consider keeping your most valuable or treasured pieces in a safe that has been secured to the wall or floor or, if not often worn, in a safety deposit box at the bank.
Check if your insurer has an event limit for jewellery. AA Insurance customers are encouraged to specify items valued over $5000, to sufficiently cover its value.
Ensure that you have an up-to-date New Zealand valuation of your items.
This helps speed things along if you need to make a claim.
Source: AA Insurance
Unguarded jewellery at home is an open invitation to thieves
(Pixabay Free Picture)