By M Ravichandran
Jewellery, especially gold, not only carries a high perceived value financially, but also a high emotional quotient especially in India. From inheriting it through ancestral possessions, to following our traditional psyche of buying the yellow metal during festivals, weddings or in general, we have always perceived jewellery to be an investment for our future. According to the ‘India’s Citizen Environment and Consumer Economy 2016’ survey, one in every two households in India purchased gold in the last five years and an overall 87% of Indian households owned gold mostly in the form of jewellery. Apart from gold, diamonds and other expensive metals like silver and platinum – also known as “white Gold” – have found their way into our adorned jewellery collection. So, how can you ensure your priced possessions are safely stored and where do you keep it?
Banks have no liability for loss of valuables in lockers
Bank lockers have always been our safest and the most trusted bet for safeguarding our valuables. Today that may not be the case. They are often oversubscribed or sometimes come with a pre-condition of opening a fixed deposit account. Therein often limiting our options to safeguard our jewellery ourselves. But even more astonishing are the recent media reports regarding the RBI statement that states, “Banks have no liability for loss of valuables in lockers.” That is, banks will not be responsible for any kind of damage to the contents in the locker by any cause, including fire or natural calamity. So today a bank locker, that once assured security for your investments, no longer gives mental assurance and security. With banks not willing to take responsibility for theft of your contents in the bank locker, it becomes essential to know of alternative ways to secure your jewellery investments. Hence the best and safe bet is to ‘bank’ on insurance – Jewellery Insurance.
General Insurance – safe bet for safeguarding jewellery
In order to keep your valuables safe, general insurance companies in India have been offering jewellery insurance as part of Home Insurance policies. These policies not only protect jewellery in bank lockers or home safe but also while they are being worn regularly or during occasions. This ensures that your valuables are safe as well as accessible to you whenever you need them. The Jewellery Insurance section of the Home Insurance policy typically provides coverage against accidental loss or damage to jewellery and other precious items due to incidents like fire, burglary or occurrence of natural calamities.
Additionally, there are other exclusive standalone products available in the insurance market that not only cover jewellery but also rare belongings, antiques and valuables. This policy insures items against ‘All Risks’ of direct physical loss and damage. Also, the premium calculated is based on the value certified by a professional expert in case of art. In case of a claim, it is paid based on the sum insured agreed at the time of purchase of policy.
Jewellery insurance products have always been available for the security of your valuables. It is necessary in today’s time to obtain insurance for precious possessions such as jewellery because of its portable nature. As misfortunes might strike anyone, insurance can give security during mishaps and help you recover your financial losses. If you are looking forward to get protection from risks associated with owning gold and jewellery, select the appropriate insurance soon.
(The author is the President-Insurance at Tata AIG General Insurance Company Ltd)